Composer and Friend: Ezra Donner

Richwood, West Virginia, USA

Fellow Classical Music Enthusiasts

Ezra Donner is a RICHLY-PAID university music instructor.  Okay, You know that isn’t true, at least the richly-paid part.  But Ezra is most-assuredly a fine composer, whose friendship I treasure.  He is the only person on our planet, who sent greetings to me, in a private YouTube posting, with some great piano music he played in live performance.  “Flattered” doesn’t come close to describing the feeling.

I wish that I could boast that I too am a composer; and that Mr. Donner and I travel the same, large-city classical music circuits–but alas, that is not true.  While I have written some simple piano and church pipe-organ pieces, they do not soar to the level “composition.”

For the last two years or so, I have plunged into the musical social-media world as an after-hours hobby.  I started by adding a few, admittedly-amateurish comments on YouTube, as the musicians and vocalists I followed then (and still follow) posted new videos.  One thing led to another, and soon I had more than 1,000 followers on Twitter, and many of my Facebook friends know I post a good deal of music, so another 1,000 followers became part of my musical family.  With a YouTube channel addition, I have quickly added nearly 800 people from around the world to my Google+ account.  I will, in later blogs, describe some of the new artists I have found and whose work I admire and promote.

Back to Mr. Donner.  It would be difficult to list all the music that he has freely shared with me.  A full opera, “Antigone” and several individual compositions (some from his album “Steel Sky”); and most recently “Mountain Suite.”  Mr. Donner and I share a love of the mountains, and his music of that title is so rich, so full of musical emotion, that even people who do not ordinarily listen to classical music (or those who knowingly avoid it) still would likely sense the powerful beauty of the composition.  I gladly wrote customer reviews for the work, on iTunes and Amazon.

I would encourage my classical-music-lover friends to sample Ezra Donner’s work, “Mountain Suite” at link:

I additionally direct readers to Ezra’s YouTube channel and Facebook account.

Although I am a musician and songwriter for more than 50 years; and a chorister for 60 years, I stand in awe of the skills routinely displayed by Ezra Donner.  Check out his work.

–R. Johnson 



Groovy 94 — Jazz & Blues Broadcasts

Fellow Jazz and Blues Enthusiasts

As a jazz and blues nut, freely admitted, I would be remiss if I did not mention a weekly opportunity to experience some great selections.  Let me start by saying that Groovy 94.1 WXAS-FM in Beckley, West Virginia, USA, has been playing some great genre for 40 years.

Every Sunday evening, from 19:00-21:00 at GMT -5, [7:00-9:00 PM in Eastern Daylight Time] the host, Doris A. Fields, plays a wide selection of ‘the-best-of-the best’ music.  Ms. Fields has a special handle on the music, as she is a jazz and blues vocalist in her own right–and a major organizer for the Annual Simply Jazz and Blues Festival in Sandstone, West Virginia, USA. The festival is held this year on August 1-3.  Check out its Facebook link at

Doris Fields is also know as “Lady D.” and sings at many venues in the region.  She was able to join us, in Richwood, West Virginia, USA, for three evenings, October 24-26, 2013 at the Corner Coffee House, during the 2013 Create West Virginia Conference on the Future.  She certainly helped pack the house each evening with her heartfelt and superb jazz and blues.

My friend, Lady D. also has a hand in the super jazz and blues venue in Beckley, West Virginia, USA, called “110 Marshall” the street address for the club.  Check out that link:

and keep in mind that the Second Saturday each month is THE evening for great jazz and blues, along with absolutely-marvelous buffet-style food service.  Plan on sitting back, in a home recreation room or sidewalk bistro setting, and listening to the best this region offers for a full evening of jazz and blues.

Do yourself a favor, mark calendars and catch performances.

–R. Johnson



Fellow Music Enthusiasts — Upcoming Pop Concert — The Asterino Sisters

Richwood, West Virginia, USA — Pop music fans are in for a treat, later this summer, at the end of the week-long Cherry River Festival.  On Sunday, August 3, 2014, the Asterino Sisters will appear in live concert.  As an added treat, several of their usual tour mates will also appear.  The tentative venue for the performance is Richwood High School Auditorium.  Ticket prices and related information will be released by organizers on May 31.  Media releases are being prepared as this blog is written.

For those readers who may be unfamiliar with the Asterino Sisters, this harmonizing family group, located in Columbus, Ohio will appear on national television during season nine of America’s Got Talent [AGT] later in May 2014.

Always accessible to their growing crowd of fans, the Asterino Sisters (and company) plan a Meet and Greet, earlier in the afternoon of the performance date.

— R. Johnson

May 9, 2014