Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A very special evening...

  At the New York Festivals Awards Gala, accepting Finalist plaque for Best Narration   June 17, 2013

Every year, the New York Festivals celebrates "The World's Best Work" in radio programming and promotion. This prestigious international competition attracted entries this year from 28 nations in multiple categories.

I was delighted to be designated Finalist in the Best Narration category for my work on the VOA Learning English (Special English) American History series "The Making of a Nation." Here is a brief clip from the long-form montage submitted to the NYF.

I took over production and voicing of "Nation" in 2011 with the goal of re-imaging this long-running series with modern production techniques, incorporating news actuality, interview clips, music, and other audio elements to present the many facets of American history, in an engaging and entertaining style, to listeners and web-visitors with varying levels of competency in English around the world. I am gratified by the international peer recognition that the voicing (and production sound) of this series have brought, including four Finalist placements in the Association for International Broadcasting Awards (Most Creative Feature/Radio and International Radio Personality of the Year categories) in 2011 and '12, and a TIVA/DC Peer Award for Long-Form Narration last year.

The New York Festivals Awards Gala took place on June 17, at the Manhattan Penthouse on Fifth Avenue. The evening was one I will long remember - first class in every respect. Audio excerpts from the submissions of all honorees were played, and we each had the opportunity to say a few words to our assembled professional peers (video clip below), as well as doing video interviews at the end of the evening. Also, the chance to meet fellow broadcasters from around the world.

Looking downtown from Manhattan Penthouse
To Executive Director Rose Anderson and all of her NYF colleagues, my heartfelt thanks for making us all feel so proud to be broadcasters. 

By the way, even the views of Manhattan were first class. This is the view downtown toward the new Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center Plaza. If you're wondering what the pilot of that helicopter and any passengers might have been enjoying....
I decided to extend the visit to New York (and the celebratory mood, of course!) by staying another few days, when the weather turned really promising. On the last day, I did a helicopter circuit of Manhattan. Hadn't done one in years! You can read about it here.

The Empire State, the Chrysler Building...and palm trees!
And did I mention great views of Manhattan? After the Gala, some fellow honorees invited me to join them at a rooftop bar they'd heard about, further up Fifth Avenue. 230 Fifth is up alongside Madison Square Park, at 27th Street. There is an enclosed Penthouse Lounge with splendid views of Midtown Manhattan, but ascending another level brings you to this lovely palm tree (!) adorned deck. It was a nice clear night and, of course, the romantic in me was hearing the opening notes of Gordon Jenkins' "Manhattan Tower." Just a pocket point-and-shoot capture, like the one above, but the experience was certainly High-Def,  and I definitely plan to return with a "serious" camera. The view uptown from this appealing roof terrace features the Empire State Building. Encircled by the palm fronds, the equally iconic Art Deco spire of the Chrysler Building, further uptown, on the East Side. 

The golden spire of the New York Life Building
The view toward the East also has a special allure, showing the golden spire of the New York Life Building sharing the frame with 230 Fifth's large vividly illuminated water tanks.

By the way, the water tanks seen atop so many buildings in New York proved to be a stimulating motif for shooting in Trbeca, where I was staying. They are also a fascinating aspect of the city -  an interesting story I'd love to share sometime in this wee bloggie.

As Lorenz Hart wrote (to a Richard Rodgers melody),

New York is New York, and that's all you can say,
It gets in your blood and it's in there to stay...

The name of the song was "I've Gotta Get Back to New York."

Roger that.

©2013 Steve Ember

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done Steve you deserve it!

July 24, 2013 at 4:26 AM  

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