Nationally broadcast NPR show “From the Top” to be taped live at Wingate University

From the Top
Contact: Kim Williams
Communications Writer

Wingate, N.C. – From the Top, the preeminent showcase for young musicians heard weekly on 89.9 FM WDAV, comes to The Batte Center at Wingate University to tape a radio broadcast on Saturday, Nov. 23 at 7:30 p.m. The popular NPR program hosted by acclaimed pianist Christopher O'Riley will feature the amazing performances and captivating personal stories of extraordinary young classical musicians from across the country. This episode will be presented by Wingate University, with support from Bank of America and WDAV Classical Public Radio.

The live radio taping will feature the local Gerdes and Wang Piano Duo. Based at Queens University where they are coached by Paul Nitsch, the members are 17-year-old Clara Gerdes from Davidson, N.C. and 16-year-old Hannah Wang from Charlotte, N.C. In March, the duo won the Music Teachers National Association Senior Piano Duet finals in Anaheim, Calif.

Also appearing on the show will be 13-year-old violinist Qing Yu Chen, from Oakland Gardens, N.Y., who is a recipient of From the Top’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award; 18-year-old flutist Olivia Staton from Vienna, Va.; and 16 year-old bassoonist Isaac Shultz from Exeter, N.H.

What began as a radio experiment in 2000 quickly became one of the fastest growing and most popular weekly classical music programs on public radio. Broadcast on nearly 250 stations nationwide to an audience of nearly 700,000 listeners, From the Top has been described by the Boston Globe as, "an entertaining, accessible and inspirational mix of outstanding musical performances, informal interviews, skits, and games, the show is a celebration of extraordinary musicians who happen to be teenagers leading fairly normal lives."

From the Top's radio program is made possible through grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, and corporate underwriting from U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. It is also supported through the generous contributions of individuals and institutions as well as public radio stations. From the Top’s founding partners are New England Conservatory and WGBH. Learn more at

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased online at or by calling the Batte Center Box Office at 704-233-8300 or Carolina Tix at 704-372-1000. From the Top may be heard locally on 89.9 FM WDAV on Sundays at 5 p.m.; the Wingate episode will air nationally the week of Dec. 16.

The Batte Center
Opened in 1999, the George A. Batte, Jr. Fine Arts Center presents events in the McGee Theatre, Plyer-Griffin Recital Hall and Austin Auditorium. Located just a short five minute drive from Monroe, The Batte is just 3 blocks off of Highway 74 and only 29 miles southeast of Charlotte. Free parking is plentiful and all three performance spaces offer full wheelchair accessibility.

Wingate University
Wingate University, ranked as the 8th "best value" in the South by U.S. News & World Report, serves more than 3,000 students on three campuses in Wingate, Charlotte and Hendersonville, N.C. Founded in 1896, the University offers 35 undergraduate majors, 37 minors and career concentrations, numerous pre-professional programs, graduate degrees in business, accounting, education, physician assistant studies and sport administration, and doctorates in pharmacy, physical therapy and education. With a 14 to 1 student/teacher ratio, Wingate students gain the tools and support needed to excel in academics and apply that learning toward an extraordinary career and life.

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In addition to a robust intramural athletics program, Wingate student athletes compete in 22 NCAA Division II sports. The University has won the South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award for the past seven years. For more information, go to