Karen Impola

Studio One and Classical Music Host

Karen Impola is the host of Iowa Public Radio's The Folk Tree and University Concert. Karen began working at KUNI in 1990.  Before that, she hosted Folk and progressive music shows at WXPN in Philadelphia, and was a production assistant at NPR’s “Fresh Air with Terry Gross.”

Karen spent much of her childhood and adolescence holed up in her room with a record player.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology & Anthropology from Swarthmore College, where she also did her first radio show, at 6:00 a.m. on a ten-watt station, to an audience which numbered in the single digits.  In her spare time she chauffeurs teenagers and cans tomatoes.

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Music by Bartok and Kodaly, recorded live at the 2011 Cedar Valley Chamber Music Festival in Waterloo.  Performers include Lee Schmitz, Emily Osinski, Nathan Cook, Timothy Peters and Jennifer Stevenson.

A Drake University faculty recital by violinist Sarah Plum, with pianist Kate Boyd, recorded on April 21, 2011 in Des Moines.

A faculty recital by Drake University pianist Nicholas Roth, including Poulenc's music for "The Story of Babar the Little Elephant", narrated by Clive Elliott.  Recorded live on November 29, 2010.

The Northern Iowa Symphony Orchestra and Combined Choirs of UNI, recorded live on April 25, 2012, performing Mozart's Requiem.

The Drake Choir and Chamber Choir, conducted by Aimee Beckmann-Collier, recorded in concert on March 13, 2012.

A faculty recital from trumpeter Randy Grabowski of UNI, recorded on January 24, 2012

Drake University Wind Symphony, conducted by Robert Meunier, with guest conductor Kenneth Kohlenberg, recorded in concert on December 2, 2011.  

ISU Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jacob Harrison, with guest percussionist Matthew Coley, recorded in concert on September 23, 2011.

The University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra, under William LaRue Jones, performs Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique",  recorded live on  March 28, 2012.

The University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra, under William LaRue Jones, performs Gompper, Bristow, and Dukelsky, recorded live on February 29 and March 28, 2012.

The University of Iowa Symphony Orchestra, under William LaRue Jones, performs Brahms and Beethoven, recorded live on February 29, 2012.

Drake Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Akira Mori, recorded on March 12, 2012, featuring winners of the 2011 Concerto Competition.

“Crème de la Crème” benefit concert for the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, recorded May 6, 2011.

A flute recital by Drake professor Leslie Marrs, recorded on January 25, 2011.

A UNI faculty recital by horn player Yu-Ting Su, with pianist Dmitri Vorobiev, recorded on October 12, 2011.

For this Easter weekend, we'll hear a performance of parts II and III of Handel's Messiah, originally performed by the four choirs of ISU in May 2011.

ISU's two women's choirs, Cantamus and Lyrica, both under the direction of Kathleen Rodde, recorded in concert in October 2010.

The Drake University Wind Symphony, recorded live on February 19, 2012.

The Iowa Statesmen, ISU's male choral ensemble directed by James Rodde, recorded in concert on November 7, 2010.

Drake University's Leanne Freeman-Miller, soprano; Michelle Havlik-Jergens, piano. in a  concert titled "Letters From the Garden: Contemporary Songs by Female Composers", recorded on August 27. 2010.

A faculty recital from trumpeter Randy Grabowski of UNI, recorded on January 24, 2012.

This week's edition of The Folk Tree includes exclusive IPR live recordings of Gabriel Kahane and the Blackberry Bushes Stringband, plus music by Andrew Calhoun, Heidi Talbot, the Yonder Mountain String Band, and Doc Watson.

This week's edition of The Folk Tree includes exclusive IPR live recordings of Mary McAdams and Crooked Still, plus music by James McCandless, Taj Mahal, and Sara Watkins.

This week's edition of The Folk Tree includes exclusive IPR live recordings of singer-songwriter and keyboard whiz Radoslav Lorkovic and Texas band Milkdrive, plus music by Bonnie Koloc, Leftover Salmon, and Old Blind Dogs.

This week's edition of The Folk Tree includes exclusive IPR live recordings of singer-songwriter Jeffrey Foucault and of Latin American rhythms from Los Llaneros, plus music by Talitha MacKenzie, Paul Geremia, the Greencards, and the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

This week's edition of The Folk Tree includes exclusive IPR live recordings of fiddler April Verch and of Karen Savoca and Pete Heitzman, plus music by Carrie Elkin, Notorious, Bob Black, and Sarah McQuaid.

Between 1:00 and 3:00 today, Karen Impola presents an exclusive IPR live recording of Irish Christmas in America, recorded last year at CSPS in Cedar Rapids, with musicians from the top-notch Irish band Teada plus one of the most talked-about vocal acts to emerge from Ireland in recent times—Lumiere, comprising the talents of Eilís Kennedy & Pauline Scanlon.

From 1:00 - 3:00 p.m., The Folk Tree will be pre-empted by a holiday special, "A Christmas Celtic Sojourn" (details here)

From 3:00 - 5:00 p.m., it's our usual mix of folk music old and new, with a particular emphasis on holiday favorites.  Here music from Monroe Crossing, Catie Curtis, Gina Forsyth and more, plus a live recording of Beppe Gambetta.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of Jim Lauderdale and Mr. Baber's Neighbors.  plus music by Debra Cowan, The Red Clay Ramblers, Bela Fleck, and The Early Mays, among others.

This week's show features exclusive Iowa Public Radio live recordings of The Mike and Amy Finders Band and The Refugees.  plus music by Peter Mayer, The Red Clay Ramblers, Peter Ostroushko and Anna Livia among others.

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