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Champion Figure Skater Mirai Nagasu

Classical music plays a prominent part in competitive figure skating. This year, the national championships are held in Kansas City from Jan. 14-22. Michael Keelan talked with Mirai Nagasu, who has won multiple medals in the annual event over several years, including the gold, about the role of music. She competes on Jan. 19, using Chopin's posthumous c# minor nocturne, and Jan. 21.

Michael Keelan grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, as the only junior high student in town to call and win public radio quizzes. He played the violin on the state's NPR network in high school, going on to earn degrees in music from Baldwin Wallace College in Ohio and the University of Maryland-College Park. Michael began hosting on NET Radio, Nebraska's NPR Network, at the same time as playing for the Omaha Symphony, which gave him the unique opportunity to host his own performances. (He did not try to simultaneously engineer the recordings.) Prior to that ensemble, he was concertmaster of the Green Bay, Wisconsin Symphony for several years. Besides his work at KPR, he is the orchestral conductor at Ottawa University, which also welcomes community players. Previously, he was on the music faculties of Concordia University-Nebraska and the Wausau Conservatory.