Taking Atlanta From the Top""

"From the Top," Public Radio International's hit series hosted by Christopher O'Riley, will visit Atlanta to tape one of its programs before a live audience at Emory University's Schwartz Center.

The weekly syndicated show, broadcast on more than 240 stations nationwide, features performances by five promising, pre-college age classical musicians. It currently lays claim to being "the most popular weekly classical music program on the air today."

The episode from Schwartz's Emerson Concert Hall will include two groups from the metro area: The Sixteen Strings Quartet (Joseph Bennett, violin; Megan Ganyard, violin; Carla Ganyard, viola; and Ian Bennett, cello) from Gainesville will perform a movement from a Haydn string quartet. The second ensemble, the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony, directed by Scott Stewart, will play "The Gumsucker's March" by Percy Grainger.

Three and a half years ago, it was Stewart who instigated the process of bringing "From the Top" to Atlanta, from where it has been broadcast only once before. "['From the Top'] indicated [that] the Southeast is one of their largest audience pools," says Stewart, adding that the invitation to produce an episode from the Schwartz Center was met with enthusiasm.

The enthusiasm has not stopped there. As of two weeks ago, tickets for the event were completely sold out. There was also a waiting list more than four pages long. — Mark Gresham"From the Top" will be taped Thurs., Jan. 29, at the Schwartz Center.