the classics

Brief departure from our week together at  the Discover Jazz Festival here, to mention another notable cultural happening in our midst today.

This morning I was joined by around a hundred audience members, fellow VPR staff, and pianist Annemieke Spoelstra for a live performance/celebration at the Mahaney Center for the Arts, Middlebury College. The exciting occasion was the launch of Vermont Public Radio’s newest radio station in the growing regional classical music network.

I interviewed at VPR, coincidentally, the very day that VPR Classical went on the air – July 20th, 2004. At that time the entire classical “network” consisted of one radio station: WNCH, 88.1FM broadcasting from Norwich, Vermont (just across the Connecticut River from Dartmouth College in Hanover). Two weeks after that interview I was asked to move to Vermont and join the team. It seemed like it was meant to be.

Nearly six years later, as of today, the VPR Classical network is made up of five full-power radio stations and nine translators. The expansion of the network will continue this summer as another full-power station, WVXR (102.1FM) goes on the air to serve Randolph, Orange County, and the southern areas of Central Vermont. After that – yes, there are more hopes and plans but who knows what will actually come together?

One of the things that still makes my job rewarding every day is the talented, creative, and inspiring people I get to meet and work with in one way or another. Being surrounded by energy like that keeps me motivated to do the best job I can.

This morning as I sat on the stage, listening to pianist Annemieke Spoelstra play beautifully from a selection of Schumann and Chopin works, I glanced over at the sound board and saw friends, and then I looked out at the audience and saw even more friends and supporters of classical music. It takes a lot of hard work to put on a live performance, and this one had the added layer of being a live broadcast performance.

Big thanks to everyone who made it happen, and to all of the listeners whose support brought WOXM 90.1 to Addison County today!

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