Andrew Parrella

Production Manager

Andrew Parrella came to NHPR in 2007 and is our main producer of all on-air promotions and station imaging spots. He also produces our weekly feature/podcast Something Wild and works on special projects like election night coverage and StoryCorps. Most recently, Andrew has been spearheading the push to digitize NHPR's audio archive, and has been polishing and posting gems on the From The Archives blog. Parrella worked at WGBH Radio in Boston, filing stories for the Marketplace Health Desk and working on a number of news and documentary pilot projects. Before his radio career, Andrew spent the better part of a decade as a technician at theatres around New England from Burlington, Vermont to Matunuck, Rhode Island, including New Hampshire's own Palace Theatre.

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“Our country is a nation on the make,” according to historian Walter McDougall. He says we’re builders, dreamers, go-getters, inventers and organizers, so much so that "hustling" has become an indelible part of the American character and American history. He means it in all senses of the word, even going back as far as colonists's first arrival on American soil.

This arrived in the mail today.

This unassuming hard drive contains more than 500 GB of audio, the digital representation of 280 tape reels.  A couple months ago, I mentioned that NHPR was sending the last of the tape reels in our archive to Crawford Media to be digitized. And today the fruits of their labor appeared in the form of this orange-y goodness. (They also sent along a few pictures of the digitization process, take a look at the slideshow above).

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The song of the veery is a haunting, ethereal song. Males sing at dusk, a time when not many other birds sing and daytime winds have calmed. It's also a time when the air turns damp; dense, moist air transfers sound waves better than dry air.

If you listen to the song carefully, you can hear an echo or tremolo effect (more on this below), because songbirds have, essentially, a double voice box that can produce two notes at the same time. (The left voice box is lower pitched than the right one.) In a sense, a singing veery harmonizes with itself.

If you have World Cup fever, you’ll know Brazil and Croatia kick off the tournament Thursday. Even if you don’t have the fever; even if the brouhaha over Landon Donovan last month didn’t register; even if you have only the faintest understanding of who David Beckham is; you know that the U.S. has never been a favorite in the sport of international soccer.

Minnesota Historical Society

On a Monday morning the weather more closely resembled Martin Luther King Jr’s hometown of Atlanta, than it did downtown Concord. But the heat and humidity didn’t discourage those who had gathered at the statehouse for the historic bill signing.

An archive is only as good as the data it captures. This is a thorny issue that archivists grapple with perennially. There wasn’t a lot of information about this week’s story in our records.

Photo by Marsmet523, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Memorial Day is probably the most archives-centric holiday in the year. While many holidays are a flush of personal memories and family traditions, Memorial Day is more about our collective memory as fellow countrymen. And archives are a conduit to our collective memory. 

Ella Nilsen / NHPR

I was listening back this week to New Hampshire Daily, a half hour NH news program we aired from October, 1989 to February, 1992. I was listening to the programs from the week of 14 May, 1990. Among the news of the day (including the death of Jim Hensen, and Lithuania’s independence negotiations with Mikhail Gorbachev) was a four part series we produced about the Canterbury Shaker Village.

via Q1045

This week NHPR is taking a close look at higher education in the state with our special series A Matter of Degrees. But funding higher ed is a perennial issue that we've been tracking for almost as long as we've been broadcasting.  

Courtesy NE Wilderness Trust

Fred and Rosalind Slavic built their home on a thickly wooded site in Fitzwilliam a half century ago. They wanted their 300-acre tract to remain in a wild state, so they have willed it to the Northeast Wilderness Trust. The trust will dismantle the buildings and retain an easement on the land.

And Reago and Chrissy McClarren via Flickr/Creative Commons.

We went into the field this week to speak with Carol Foss, Member of the International Rusty Blackbird Working Group and NH Coordinator of the Rusty Blackbird Spring Migration Blitz

Rusty Blackbird populations have fallen over the last century: by between 80 and 90-percent. Last fall the working group decided to make careful study of the spring migration, and coordinated hundreds of volunteer scientists along the migration route to track the birds.

This week, I'm packing up another batch of old tape reels from the NHPR archive, which I'll send to Crawford Media in Atlanta for digitization (or "migration", as they call it). I'll be documenting the process on the blog, so check back next week to see how it's moving. We worked with them last spring to digitize about 300 of our tape reels, courtesy of the American Archive Content Inventory Project (more below).

On the 450th anniversary of the birth of the language's greatest writer, it seems appropriate to reflect on the work of William Shakespeare. 

In 2005, the Blackfriars Stage Company brought their tour to New Hampshire. We welcomed two actos from the company to our studios to speak with the Front Porch. Alyssa Wilmoth and Tyler Moss were playing Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing and they gave us a little taste of their craft; from Act 1, Scene 1.

Here is a scene from Act 4 where the two characters explore different feelings.

Courtesy Author's Wife.

Nana never made this dish. There is no family recipe for Timpano that has passed down through generations of Parrellas. But when it comes to inspiring nostalgia for the cooking of my grandmother, there’s nothing like Big Night.

wallyg / Flickr Creative Commons

One year after the tragedy at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, we remember the many stories of heartbreak and of courage that abound at the time and have transpired since.

Chris Martin / NHA

On Monday, the Union Leader reported that the peregrine family nesting high above Manchester had found a new papa bird. After her previous mate injured his wing and was taken in for surgery, the female falcon eventually left the nest in search of food. Within 72 hours of her former mate's disappearance, she successfully found a new male for her nest.

On a September evening 25 years ago a sold out crowd of logophiles gathered at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth to hear the state's preeminent poets speak in their native tongue. The program for the evening featured just four names, but a weighty four: Donald Hall, Jane Kenyon, Maxine Kumin and Charles Simic.

Courtesy Adam Adam Hammer via WikiMedia

Alice’s Restaurant was published nearly 30 years ago, the iconic song that gave the album its name is about the goings on at a restaurant owned by Alice and Ray Brock. Around the corner from the restaurant was the Old Trinity Church, which they made into their home. Ten years ago, Kate McNally, host of NHPR’s Folk Show on Sunday nights, spoke with Arlo Guthrie at the Old Trinity Church in Great Barrington, Ma, now site of the Guthrie Center. This week we’ll listen back to her interview with the folk music icon.

It's Robert Frost's birthday!

Born in 1874, Frost was the first U.S. Poet Laureate with connections to the Granite State though he was followed by Maxine Kumin, Donald Hall and Charles Simic,who all reinforced the Granite State's literary reputation.

In 2004, the Center for Women in Government released a report about women in top appointed positions in all 50 state governments. NH ranked last in percentage of such appointments. After a back and forth with Gov. Craig Benson’s office, NHPR's Raquel Maria Dillon reports, an updated survey then placed NH seventh. 

NH Boat Museum

The New Hampshire Boat Museum in Wolfeboro is a showplace for antique boats and New Hampshire’s boating history. The museum also runs summer boat-building workshops for kids. The two week program offers area youth the chance to build a canoe, a kayak or a skiff. 

www.BackgroundNow.com / Flickr/Creative Commons

It’s town meeting time! A storied tradition in northern New England, and in New Hampshire especially. This week I found an old interview with Dartmouth College professor of history, Jere Daniell. He spoke with an unidentified NHPR reporter in July, 1994. Daniell has made close study of our town meeting and the history of the institution.

The roots of town meeting go back three centuries and have evolved over time. Once viewed as an extension of the old boys network which governed many towns, it enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in the early 20th century. 

Ten years ago this week, Rev. Gene Robinson officially became the first openly gay bishop in history. He was elected in June, 2003 and on 7 March, 2004  he was "invested" at a ceremony where the previous bishop (Rev. Douglas Theuner) formally handed the shepherd's crook to him.

  Just days before the investiture, Robinson spoke with John Walters on NHPR's The Front Porch about his election, and the controversy that followed in and around the Episcopal Church. They discuss the transition and what his plans are taking the church forward.

February 28th marks thirty years since the 1984 New Hampshire presidential primary. The ’84 election is often overlooked today – mostly because the general election saw Republican President Ronald Reagan beat Democrat Walter Mondale in a landslide - and yet, the 1984 primary was fairly influential.

Today marks thirty years since the 1984 New Hampshire primary. It’s a contest not well remembered today – on the Republican side, President Ronald Reagan was running essentially unopposed, and the man who won the Democratic nomination, Walter Mondale, not only lost the New Hampshire primary, he lost the general election in a landslide.

Earlier this month, Dick Ray, founding member of The Spectras, one of New Hampshire's first rock bands to make good, passed away. We were fortunate enough to have spoken with Ray and band co-founder Chris Quackenbush in 2001. They joined John Walters on NHPR's The Front Porch to talk about the band and their journey in the music business.

  

Have you hugged a President this week? Steve Wood has. As a card-carrying member of the Association of Lincoln Presenters, Wood assumes the garb, voice and character of the country’s 16th President to educate people about Lincoln’s life and legacy.

Carl Van Vechten

Nashua resident Rawn Spearman (1920-2009) was a long-standing student of Harlem renaissance poet Langston Hughes. The actor and baritone singer, spent time at MacDowell Colony working on a documentary about Hughes. And in 2001 was awarded the Lotte Jacobi Living Treasure Award by Gov. Shaheen. 

In 1997, he organized a performance of  Ask Your Mama, 12 Moods for Jazz,  Hughes epic poem, designed to be performed with music. Spearman's performance at the Capital Center for the Arts sold out.

Bob McQuillen composed and performed contra dances for over 60 sixty years throughout New England. The Peterborough resident passed away on Tuesday after suffering a stroke over the weekend.

McQuillen spoke with NHPR's John Walters on the Front Porch shortly after being awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

Movimiento base/CC

Later this week, Bode Miller will become just the sixth American to participate in five Winter Olympics.

Back in 2002, NHPR's Doug MacPherson profiled the young athlete as he was preparing for his second (in Utah).

We'll be keeping an eye on NH's medal hopefuls in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye here.

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