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WPR's Elkins to emcee festival
Wisconsin Public Radio host, Stephanie Elkins, will be the emcee for the Monroe Arts Centers Wisconsin Music Arts Festival scheduled for Thursday, June 20 through Saturday, June 22 in Monroe. Headline concerts by Livingston Taylor and the BoDeans, along with music industry presentations, music workshops, and after-hours Concerts on the Square, are some of the events scheduled to take place. (Photo supplied)
MONROE - Stephanie Elkins, New Glarus, host and producer on Wisconsin Public Radio, will be the emcee of the Wisconsin Music Arts Festival from June 20 through 22. She will also teach two workshops on Saturday, June 22, titled "How to Get Radio Airplay."

The Wisconsin Music Arts Festival is a program of the Monroe Arts Center.

Elkins hosts and produces "Simply Folk" on Wisconsin Public Radio's Ideas Network and on its News and Classical Music Network. She plays a wide range of traditional and contemporary folk music.

"Folk music is an enormous umbrella that covers a wide range of genres," Elkins said. "It's our music - music of the people. My listeners know, if they don't like a particular style, just wait five minutes. I try to show that we are gifted with some tremendous talent in Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest."

Elkins said she enjoys almost all genres of music. "It's so powerful and comes in so many wonderful forms. I especially enjoy good singer-songwriters who can tell the stories of our lives - who can have me relating emotionally with nothing but a few words and some guitar chords. It's a gift to be able to do that well."

She has a long history of working in radio. Her first job was at WDIY-FM in Allentown/Bethlehem, Pa. When she moved to Wisconsin, Elkins began hosting "Musica Antiqua" on WORT Radio. Before joining WPR, she was the co-founder and vice president of operations for Broadjam, Inc., a Madison-based company that serves the music industry and independent musicians around the world. Her husband, Roy, is the other co-founder of Broadjam and will be presenting on Friday, June 21 at the Wisconsin Music Arts Festival.

Elkins believes that festivals are another important way to involve people in music.

"Music expresses emotions in a way that our language alone is unable to do," she said. "The great classical composers like Beethoven were able to transmit information about the human condition that could not be expressed any other way, from pure love and joy and exultation to the deepest abyss of pain."

In addition to her hosting duties, Elkins is an amateur singer and guitar player. She has performed on NBC's "Today Show" with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, has sung with the Festival Choir of Madison and sang the role of the Shepherd in a Madison Opera production of "Tosca." Her recordings include two on the Dorian label with the Bach Choir, two with the Festival Choir, and four for Alfred Publishing.

She earned a bachelor of arts in political science and French with areas-of-interest in music and Italian from the University of Rhode Island. She did two years of graduate work in applied economics at the University of Central Florida and studied for a year at the Sorbonne in France.

For tickets and information on the festival, contact MAC at 608-325-5700 or visit