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KMFA 89.5 announces programming for virtual opening celebration “Live from the Draylen Mason”

Sunday, January 17, 2021

KMFA 89.5, Austin’s listener-supported classical music station, announces the full schedule for “Live from the Draylen Mason,” a Grand Opening Celebration, Jan. 29 – 31. “Live from the Draylen Mason” events will include three days of streaming programming by locally and nationally acclaimed artists. Tickets are available at

Having just moved into the new purpose-built space in The Hatchery after 42 years on N. Lamar, KMFA invites the public to enjoy a variety of uplifting programs and to virtually experience an “inside” look at the new state-of-the-art facilities. Weekend highlights will include the dedication of the new Draylen Mason Music Studio, which will host live broadcasts, concerts, and special events throughout the year including conversations an performances that inspire and restore the human spirit.

In addition to the tickete events, Free On Demand programs will be made available, including various exclusive presentations and encore performances from the Austin arts community.

The centerpiece of KMFA’s new facility is the 135-seat music studio named after Draylen Mason, the talented seventeen-year-old bassist who was a victim of the Austin package bombings in March 2018. Draylen performed with Austin Soundwaves, Austin Youth Orchestra, Austin Chambe Music Center, the UT String Project and at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. He had been admitted to the music schools at the University of Texas at Austin, University of North Texas, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music to study bass performance. A memorial tablet on the Walk of Heroes at Draylen’ school, East Austin Prep, shares his statement: “The greatest gift I can ever offer is to rekindle someone’s passion by sharing my talents. I want to share my gift and inspire others to discover, develop and use their own.” KMFA’s new home is supported by 1,519 gifts to date totaling $9.8 million from listeners and community supporters. The two-story, 18,000 square-foot facility includes the Draylen Mason Music Studio along with broadcasting studios, hands-on learning areas, one of the largest classical music libraries in the state, and community gathering spaces. The project is 90% funded, with $1.2 million remaining to reach the building goal of $11 million.

Full Schedule:

Opening Night: Live from the Draylen Mason | Friday Jan. 29 | 7:00 p.m. CST

The dedication of the Draylen Mason Music Studio featuring unveiling of a commissioned portrait of Draylen created by “Artivist” Nikkolas Smith followed by remarks from

In a world that values simple definitions, qualitative assessment, and the artist. This special evening will also include a performance by violinist Vadim Gluzman and pianist Angela Yoffe.


Saturday, Jan. 30

2 p.m. CST

Nikkolas Smith offers an in-depth look at what is means to be an Artivist (artist + activist) in this special presentation for aspiring young creatives and high school students in the Arts. (45-minute talk, 15-minute Q&A)

Anne Akiko Meyers & Jason Vieaux, Olga Kern: Live from the Draylen Mason

Saturday, Jan. 30

7 p.m.

Live from the Draylen Mason presents renowned violinist Anne Akiko Meyers with guitarist Jason Vieaux in concert. The evening will begin with a special performance by pianist Olga Kern from Prague, followed by renowned violinist Anne Akiko Meyers with guitarist Jason Vieaux.

Miró Quartet & Friends: Live from the Draylen Mason

Sunday, Jan. 30

4 p.m. Live from the Draylen

Live from the Draylen Mason presents Miró Quartet & Friends. This concert features the celebrated Austin-based Miró Quartet with special guest appearances by pianist Anton Nel, Austin Symphony Orchestra principal cellist Douglas Harvey, and double bassists Utah Hamrick and Joel Braun.

Free On-Demand Programs


Invoke continues to delight audiences and successfully dodge even the most valiant attempts at genre classification with this first KMFA Star Notes Community Concert. The KMFA Star Notes Project is an intergenerational program, offering area youth and senior citizens from the Rebekah Baines Johnson Center opportunities for deep connection through performances and conversations centered on music and meaning, and learning experiences focused on sound, listening, and broadcasting. This concert is made possible in part by the St. David’s Foundation, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

Divas & Drinks

Opera aficionado and pianist David Utterback, mezzo soprano Liz Cass, and soprano Julia Taylor take a deep dive into the world of opera with a focused lens on the charismatic, larger-than-life singers who bring this art form to life. This trio knows how to thrill, laugh, and drink.

Matt Hinsley: Form & Essence measures thoughts and private moments by clicks, comments, and shares, Matt Hinsley is increasingly fascinated by feelings, inspirations, and the space between us. After all, that’s where music lives.

Amanda Johnston: I Embrace You

Poet Amanda Johnston shares original poetry and other works of reflection and hope.

Local Spotlight: Encore Performances On Demand

Graham Reynolds: Pancho Villa from a Safe Distance

A bilingual cross-border opera about the life and death of Pancho Villa commissioned by Ballroom Marfa, the project is the third installment of The Marfa Triptych, a genrehopping trilogy of musical performances by composer Graham Reynolds. The opera is an insightful examination of the Mexican and Mexican-American impact on the culture and politics of West Texas, contributing to the current and timely conversation about borders and the limitations of the concept of delineated states.

Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare: PBS Special: Considering Matthew Shepard

Craig Hella Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard is a galvanizing musical testament to hope, inclusivity, and love that fuses a variety of music genres including classical, cowboy music, gospel, popular song, and jazz. This performance documentary, a collaboration between Austin PBS, KLRU-TV, and Conspirare, includes performances of selected movements and features Johnson’s creative process.

Austin Opera: Scenes from Rigoletto

Austin Opera offers Act II from their critically acclaimed production of Verdi's masterpiece Rigoletto starring soprano Madison Leonard (named to Robert Faires' Austin Chronicle Top 10 Arts List in 2019) as Gilda, tenor Kang Wang as the Duke, and baritone Michael Chioldi in the title role.

Anthony Tobin: The Dream Piano (Le piano du rêve)

Learn the story of the special piano that changed Debussy’s life in this documentary created by pianist and filmmaker Anthony Tobin, filmed on location in Brive laGaillarde, France.

Bats, Grackles, and You: A Steve Parker Highlight Reel

What is a performer? A composer? What is music, for that matter? Parker invites curiosity, exploration, and adventure through communal works for salvaged musical instruments, amateur choirs, marching bands, urban bat colonies, flocks of grackles, and pedicab fleets, filmed on location in and around Austin.

Chorus Austin: Holding Hope

This offering weaves together inspiring concert footage from Chorus Austin’s Symphonic Chorus and Chamber Ensemble, along with new recordings, safely made by musicians brought together during the pandemic.

line upon line percussion: Inventions

During the first six months of the pandemic, instead of offering online performances, line upon line teamed up with composers Kristine Tjøgersen (Norway) and Cullyn Murphy (Pittsburgh) to create these inventive online pieces that couldn’t be performed live.

Artina McCain: Music by George Walker

Pianist Artina McCain offers a live performance of the Allegro from George Walker’s Piano Sonata No. 1 from her new release, Heritage: An American Musical Legacy.

Texas Lutheran University Concert Choir & Symphonic Band: Singing Darkness to Light

Performers from TLU in Seguin make their way to Austin every year to share their beautiful vespers program. Restricted this past December by the pandemic, they instead offered a virtual presentation, "Singing Darkness to Light," marking the 80th anniversary of this sacred service. With messages of hope, healing, and peace that are relevant any time of year, this performance weaves together music and spoken word from vespers in years past, as well as new material created safely during the pandemic.

Mother Falcon: Live from the Victoria Bach Festival Austin orchestral pop band Mother Falcon performs at the 2015 Victoria Bach Festival, in Victoria, TX.

Austin Saxophone Ensemble: New York Counterpoint

The Austin Saxophone Ensemble brings the pulsing rhythms and multi-layered melodies of Steve Reich’s minimalist masterpiece New York Counterpoint to the stage of Austin’s St. Matt’s Episcopal Church in a performance from September 28, 2019. The work juxtaposes quick-moving notes with slow-changing textures to stretch and challenge our traditional ideas of the movement of melody, rhythm, and harmony, while remaining danceable, tuneful, and engaging.

Austin Chamber Music Center: be still and know

Exquisitely composed pieces of passion and beauty, these piano trios by Schubert (Notturno), Rachmaninov (Piano Trio No. 1), Carlos Simon (be still and know), and Stephen Barber (Pace) take you to a place of connection and meaning. Join the Austin Chamber Music Center for music and conversation with Patrice Calixte, Prudence McDaniel, and Michelle Schumann, recorded at KMFA's Draylen Mason Music Studio.

Austin Classical Guitar: Looking Up with the Austin Guitar Quartet Part livestream, part curated tour, Looking Up features the Austin Guitar Quartet in a concert inspired by the sculptures from the garden at Laguna Gloria. Presented by Austin Classical Guitar and The Contemporary Austin, this is an encore presentation from November 2020.

Tickets are available at three levels: Level 1: $20 for individual streams to Friday, Saturday, and Sunday concerts; Level 2: $54 pass for all three concerts (price to commemorate KMFA’s 54th Anniversary); Level 3: $250 VIP Package will include access to all three concerts, dinner for two Saturday night, and a swag bag of goodies. (Limited number of VIP Packages available.) Tickets are available at

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