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Happy Halloween from HWY 89

Happy Halloween from all of us at the station! Our treat to you this year are four Halloween-mood-inducing musical excerpts from our Highway 89 music program. Enjoy!


The BYU Young Ambassador Showband tests your knowledge of Halloween-esque TV and Movie themes with this Halloween Medley Mashup below. Also, don’t miss our rebroadcast of the Showband’s full performance at 10pm EST on BYU Radio this October 31st. 

Listen to the Young Ambassadors Halloween Medley (9MB)


Perhaps one of the creepiest compositions in all the classical repertoire, Die Erlkonig is the musical telling of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s poem of the same name. Franz Schubert wrote the music and then Franz Liszt transcribed it for piano. The piece tells the terrifying tale of an anxious young boy riding home on horseback at night with his father. The son seems to see and hear beings that his father does not. The son tries to warn his father but is told that it is all just a wisp of fog, the rustling of leaves, or the shimmering willows. But at the end the child shrieks that he has been attacked and falls dead—scary!

BYU Professor Robin Hancock performed Die Erlkonig during his 2013 HWY performance.

Listen to Robin Hancock perform Die Erlkonig (9MB)


One of our most popular HWY89 episodes features the cast of “Deep Love: A Ghostly Folk Opera” performing a special just-for-BYU Radio version of the stage show. Singers Ryan Hayes and Jon Peter Lewis, of the folk duo Midas Whale, perform alongside show creator Garrett Sherwood and former NBC “The Voice” contestants Amy Whitcomb and Savannah Berry. Turn off all but your porch light, put the candy tub beside you, and enjoy this musical journey through passion, obsession, dark deeds, bad intentions and love beyond the grave.


Charles Gounod’s composition, “Funeral March of a Marionette” was used as the theme music for the 1950’s television program “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” In this excerpt a clarinet ensemble, known as The Forward 4, performs a special arrangement of the piece.

Listen to Funeral March of a Marionette (5MB)

10 Ways to Rejuvenate Over the Weekend

by Alyssa Banks, who helps produce "The Matt Townsend Show."

The world is hectic and chaotic. It’s almost become a necessity to schedule relaxation time for yourself if you expect to slow down for a few minutes. Here are some ways to improve your productivity for the upcoming week. Choose a couple, and enjoy your week!

1. Write in a journal about recent exciting events in your life.

2. Read a book that you’ve been meaning to read.

3. Spend time with family.

4. Let yourself “binge” watch episodes of your favorite television series.

5. Sleep in.

6. Write down things that bothered you throughout the week. Destroy the paper you wrote on, and throw it away. Let those things go.

7. Wander around your hometown, with no time limit. Go where your feet take you, and enjoy the time you have. 

8. Call a friend you haven’t spoken with recently.

9. Look in the mirror, and say five things you love about yourself. If you can’t think of five, ask a close friend or relative for help. You definitely have five positive traits the world sees that you might have missed.

10. Do something to celebrate fall and the holiday season. This could mean decorating a room in your home or sipping a mug of hot chocolate with a loved one.

How to Understand the Other People

by Alyssa Banks, who helps produce 'The Matt Townsend Show."

1. Take time to listen. This is a simple concept, but many people wonder why they don’t understand other people’s viewpoints when, in fact, they aren’t actually taking the time to listen.

2. Ask questions. This is another simple and obvious gesture. However, it may eliminate some miscommunication that inevitably occurs when assuming you've understood another person’s feelings.

3. Be yourself. You can still listen to another person’s opinion that is different from your own without feeling obligated to agree with them. Give honest and meaningful feedback in response to their opinions. There’s no need to pretend you’re both on the same page when you don’t agree.

4. Put yourself in the other person’s situation. It’s easier to dismiss problems and concerns of others because we don’t take the time to put ourselves in their specific situations. Imagining how other people feel does wonders for the types of responses and overall conversations you’ll have with others.

5. Eliminate distractions. This shows the other person you have time for them, and you want to hear what they have to say.

6. Pay attention to body language. This typically gives a better idea of how people feel rather than the words that are said.

What Can I Do for You?

“What Can I Do for You?” 

by Kim Power Stilson

People answer this question quite often.  They say, “a new car” or “world Peace” or “I don’t know,” when asked what is wanted for their birthday or Christmas. The less easily answered question is – “What can I do for you?” – especially when asked after trauma, disappointment, death, and tragedy.  Last month my daughter’s roommates were in a terrible car accident. They hydroplaned on their way back to college. Due to injuries, two freshman girls lost the rest of their first semester of college and one lost her life.   

My daughter, my husband and I were among the first to arrive at the hospital on the stormy day of the accident.  We knew what to do then, so we didn’t have to ask.  We made phone calls, brought in food for the anxiously waiting families, and we prayed.  A day later, when my daughter’s roommate was declared brain dead, we knew less what to do. We didn’t ask.  Hundreds of people just did what was needed to be done for the parents and family and the little freshman who would not make it to school yet and would donate her still living organs and tissues to other people with the hope of life. Through the days after the death and while the other two girls started the long journey of recovery, we found ways to help. We knew that the answer to the question of “What can I do for you?” was one that these grieving parents would not know how to answer. If they had found the words to say “bring my daughter back,” “make them whole again,” “start this day over,” we could not have helped them do it.

It’s been just over two weeks from the tragic accident that killed one girl and left two others injured; one week after the funeral that we attended for Taryn; six days after McKenzie was released from ICU; two days after once occupied college dorms are now empty of the colors that had been the beginning of these girls’ college life; one day since my daughter and one of the other roommates say for the hundredth time – that nothing is the same.  Today I call my daughter because I am finally out of things to do.  I ask her and the remaining roommates what I could do for them. They answer, “bring back my friends,” “make it the way it was.” I wish I could take back the question; the answers are too painful still.  And finally, comes an answer to my prayerful plea for something I could do – 

“Come see us and, Mommy, please bring some of those pumpkin chocolate cookies you make.”  

Oh, if only the question “What can I do for you?” was always as easy as making pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  For today I am glad I had a response to my question. 

[audio src="O come O come Emmanuel HWY0027.mp3"]

10 Secrets of a Happy Family

by Alyssa Banks, who helps produce "The Matt Townsend Show"

1. Spend time together. From eating dinner to having late-night talks, family time makes a difference in the love and support each member feels at home.

2. Build each other up. My mom always says that in our house, people, including friends who visit, may brag as much as they want because we’re happy for them and are there to support their successes.

3. Avoid making negative comments. The world is full of enough people who make you feel badly about yourself. You and your family don’t need to contribute to this negativity.

4. Have family dinners. Dinner together can be the time a family unwinds but can also be the only time you have with one another. Make this count, and consistently have family dinners. If some members of the family are away, continue to make the dinner and sit around the table. This gives the family a sense of security and consistency. It’s also a great way to have casual conversation and discuss any issues members may need help dealing with.

5. Put technology away at the table. This prevents you from answering emails or texts at the table. It also sends your family the message that they have your undivided attention, and you are prioritizing them over your phone.

6. Limit screen time. This may be frustrating for some. However, as you limit your screen time, you’ll discover all the things you meant to do will actually get done. You may even find you have some extra time to relax.

7. Schedule specific activities to do together. My family goes on a walk every Sunday. We may bring a frisbee, visit the park or walk our dog, but we always take the walk. It’s consistent. Think of your family, and designate a day or time you can participate in something you all enjoy each week. This will give the family something to look forward to.

8. Spend time working or serving. It’s important for your family to develop skills and also feel like they’re important and contributing to the family. Clean up the kitchen, or work on the yard as a family.

9. Forgive your family members. Let the mistakes and offenses roll off your shoulders because the bottom line is you’re all family. Getting along is more rewarding than holding grudges.

10. Prioritize your family over your hobbies, work and other friends. You don’t need to choose your family every single time. However, make it known you want to be with your family by choosing them over other plans sometimes. After all, “friends come and go, but family is forever.”

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