Hi there! If you haven’t met or heard of me before, I’m John T.K. Scherch, the newest announcer at WBJC and your new evening host. In the past month or so, I’ve gotten to cover for Dyana Neal for the better part of a week and a couple of Reed Hessler’s shows (and only the happiest of retirements to him!). Your outpouring of welcome as I’ve eased my way onto these airwaves has been delightful and informative in the best possible way.
My background is as a classical singer and former college radio host; I have my Master’s in voice and pedagogy from Peabody which I still put to its direct use, and I spent seven years at U92, the award-winning college radio station at West Virginia University. While I was there, I directed the classical program as well as the heavy metal program, and I still like to go to both kinds of shows!
When it comes to classical music knowledge, I confess that mine is not as encyclopedic as some of my longer-tenured colleagues here, which I attribute simply to experience. This is one reason I appreciate your feedback so much, because I’ve received many messages expressing appreciation for my introducing them to works they haven’t heard before. I plan to continue doing so, because the same can be said for me; I am programming my shows to find a perfect balance of novelty, interest, and accessibility, and to simply learn about all of the music that I have yet to hear for myself. This does not mean that I won’t have interesting things to say about the music I play for you, that my sets will be a disjointed mess of outliers that deserve to be outliers, nor that the hours of 8-11 PM will be plagued with atonal aberrations that mid-20th-century composers wrote to be anti-pop. Rather, I believe that new composers should be rewarded for understanding that they are writing for an audience other than themselves and their colleagues, and I plan to do so for such composers on my show as much as possible. I also plan to play as much music as I can by female and gender non-conforming composers, composers of color, and young composers; rest assured, though, the music comes first.
You, the listener, have the power and opportunity to aid me in my musical journey, as I am now the host of Listener’s Choice as well! We are switching the format of these requests to all-electronic and adding a few options as well: you can now send me your requests via email (ListenersChoice@wbjc.com), our contact form (make the subject Listener’s Choice!), our Facebook page, or Twitter using the hashtag #ListenersChoice. This will also allow me to sprinkle requests from previous weeks into my sets, as well as inform everyone who requests a piece when exactly their request is being played. Particularly this week, I will be taking requests for both our show this week, which will be abridged by our Christmas programming, and next Friday, so I hope to see lots of requests come in!
I am incredibly excited to get started and look forward to having you join me on my official first show tonight at 8:00.
– John T.K. Scherch