A lovely shade of Bronze in the summertime
The email was delivered a few weeks back: Backstage Pass was a finalist in the Radio division for New York Festivals. We just didn't know what we won. We waited. The word came on Friday, and it was Bronze!
The New York Festivals is a competition for international media, covering radio, television, and promotions. Each of these has its own deadline, with awards. It's open to all levels of media, so our submission would go into the same pot as the BBC, the CBC, commercial and satellite radio. In other words, much bigger guns with a lot more money were vying for the same medal we were. Backstage Pass is no stranger to the New York Festivals; we were given a Finalist Award in 2007. Translation: close, but no medal. 2008 brought nothing for our submission. This year was a very happy ending: Backstage Pass won a Bronze Medal in the Regularly Scheduled Music Program category.
Judging is done by an international panel of experts, who rate and rank the categories. Those are tallied, and winnowed down to the final list. We have been judges twice for New York Festivals at WXXI, and the breadth of countries represented is truly impressive: we've listened to news stories from the Philippines and music shows from Scotland. We know all too well how difficult it is to make the cut. This year, I went through each eligible edition of Backstage Pass carefully, finally choosing our show with the Cello Divas. I loved this show: brisk and compelling conversation with four really interesting women, playing terrific music wonderfully--it was the whole package.
Of course, none of this would have happened without the voices you never hear during Backstage Pass: our VP for radio and Executive Producer, Jeanne Fisher (who's always in my ear, keeping me on time), our Senior Audio Technologist Dave Sluberski (who makes sure it all sounds perfect), and Audio Engineer Andrew Croucher (who makes sure it all works). And I remember that show so well. It had taken a long time to book the Cello Divas because they had such busy schedules, but in the end we all knew it had been worth the wait. The room felt really wonderful that day, and we all walked away feeling like we had done something pretty special.
Apparently, the judges for New York Festivals felt the same way, and we couldn't be happier.