‘The Song’ is the program on Frontier Community Access Television
Johnny DeMarco, left and Michael Behm of British Columbia appear on the set of “The Song,” hosted by singer songwriter Mary Wheelan of Worthington. LAURA RODLEY Purchase photo reprints »
Ever since “The Voice” made its debut on television in April 2011, Worthington singer/songwriter Mary Wheelan thought there should be a show called “The Song.”
Her wish came true in March this year, when Wheelan’s half-hour program “The Song” hit the airways on community-access television. The show is viewable online through Frontier Community Access Television, or FCAT, a community media center, located in South Deerfield.
The idea for the show was born after Wheelan completed a video about the South County Senior Center in South Deerfield, where she works part-time as director. The center is around the corner from the FCAT studio on Elm Street, where she vounteers. When she wrapped up her video about the center, FCAT’s manager, Douglas Finn, asked her if she had any ideas for another project and Wheelan shared her idea for a “The Voice”-inspired spin-off.
Since March, “The Show” has filmed 29 performances, including its latest featuring well-known Canadian singer/songwriter Michael Behm, who co-wrote a song for Scotty McCreery, winner of the T.V. show “American Idol” in 2011. Behm also played back-up guitar and sang with rock star Jon Bon Jovi and wrote tunes that have topped song charts in Canada and Australia. A resident of British Columbia, Behm flew last weekend with fellow Canadian singer/songwriter Johnny DeMarco, to appear on the “The Song,” after hearing about Wheelan’s show through British-based SongLink International.
Wheelan said when he first contacted her, she made sure he realized it was “just community T.V.”
“He thought it was a quality show and [said] he’s gonna come,” she said. Behm’s performance can be viewed at www.fcat.tv — click on “video on demand” and “The Song” — along with all 29 other videos of the show, so far.
Wheelan’s original songs aired on the show’s 14th episode. Musicians Josh Wachtel of Cummington, Tom Knight and Jeff Martell, both from Haydenville, and Grammy-nominated songwriter Jeff Batson of Nashville, Tenn., have also appeared.
Songwriter Dan Daniels of South Hadley also appears this week on her show “The Song” at the Frontier and Greenfield community access television stations and other community access stations around the country
And on Oct. 24, Wheelan taped a performance by singer-songwriter Peter Cranligh Swash from Britian W.
For now, the show’s performers and producers, including Wheelan, are not paid. “Maybe someday they will be,” said Wheelan, wistfully.
Professor William K. Mahony, author of “Exquisite Love: Heart-Centered Reflections on the Bhakti Sutra,” is giving a workshop next month at the Goshen Prakasa Yoga Studio called “Abide In Love with Bill Mahony PhD. What is the relevance of Spiritual Love in Uncertain Times.”
Mahoney’s book is a translation based on a 10th- and 11th-century Sanskrit and yogic text, “Narada Bhakti Sutra,” which focuses on cultivating and refining increasingly higher levels of spiritual love in contemporary times. The event is open to the public.
According to Lynne Paterson, an Anusara yoga instructor and owner of Prasaka Studio, the book is based on ancient teachings of love and highest consciousnes. Paterson has known Mahoney for years and studied with him.
Sessions begin with Paterson leading an optional short yoga session and end with Mahony leading a contemplative practice. “Yoga is a much bigger practice. It can include chanting, meditation, study of scriptural texts, studying with a teacher, reading exercises, relaxation. He will have some segments of each,” she said.
Mahony teaches religion and heads the religion department at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., teaching courses on the religions of India. Past president of the Muktabodha Indological Research Institute in Emeryville, Calif., he helped preserve endangered Sanskrit texts. His many awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship.
“It is my personal experience that Bill Mahony is a very rare teacher,” Paterson said. He embodies what he teaches, she said, “that humans can live in this modern world in a way that honors the sacredness of life and the divinity within everyone and within all things.”
The workshop at 152 Ball Road will take place Nov. 9, 10 and 11 and costs $150; one class costs $50. A lecture on Nov. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. costs $25 will preview the workshop.
The deadline for sign-ups is Nov. 1. Call Paterson at 268-7151, visit www.prakasayoga.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Rodley can be reached at email@example.com.