Reed Hessler

Evening Host Reed Hessler asking for pledges during WBJC’s 2012 Winter Drive

WBJC was a very different place when I started in December of 1978. Certainly a better station now, but each era has its memories. As we evolved, our listeners have always been there for us, and I am grateful. Many people have told me they listen because they find classical music relaxing. At times it has relaxed me too.

But for that matter, there is no human condition it can’t summon to life. It’s a religious experience.

My love of music was stimulated by my music teacher parents, and was fostered through choral singing as a youth, hearing and loving the Verdi Requiem at age thirteen, and discovering while pursuing an English degree in college that the counterpoint in Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony turned me on as much as the electric guitar and bass lines in Jefferson Airplane. Ultimately, I became an obsessive classical music listener and returned to school to study music.

My interest in film history is equal to my love for music. I have probably seen about fifteen thousand films in my life. From 1994 to 1999, I taught a full credit course in Asian film at Johns Hopkins University. I have seen over one thousand Japanese films alone, going back to the silent era.

In 1997 and 1998, I taught American and ethnic music at Western High School. This rekindled my interest in the entire panoply of American music, beginning with the history of the blues…from Bessie Smith through Muddy Waters and beyond; to jazz, which my wife and I fall asleep to every night, expanding upon my earlier love for John Coltrane, with a new passion for Thelonious Monk, and all the 60’s Blue Note artists who played with Art Blakey; and from there to 1920’s American roots music, contemporary alt country, and indie rock. There is no music I don’t like, or at least haven’t tried.

My latest hobby is tracing my family genealogy. And my favorite TV show is “Mad Men”. And, yes, I have a cat.

My wife since 1985 is Dyane Fancey, a poet. We spend all of our spare time together and, needless to say, Dyane hears a lot of music and sees a lot of movies.

Reed can be contacted at

Reed’s Articles:

Elgar – the Last Romantic

recent posts:

  • Friday, 3/7/14, 8:15-11:59PM

    8:00 PM            10176 Robert Schumann               Symphony in g “Zwickauer”               Capriccio  10094 COND Sir Neville Marriner          Sir  Neville  MAIR iner ORCH Radio Symph Orch of Stuttgart 17:23    C  1 5-6 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 8:21 PM            10576 Federico Mompou               Intimate Impressions                    Naxos      8554570 SOLO Jordi Maso, piano 19:19    C  1 25-33 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 8:41 PM            606 Ludwig van Beethoven          Album […]

  • Playlist Friday, 12/13/13, 8:20PM-11:59PM

    8:00 PM            42817 Joseph Haydn                  Awake, o my faithful ones in G HOB 24 DeHarm Mundi 901765 COND Andreas Spering ORCH Cappella Coloniensis SOLO Vocal Ensemble of Cologne SOLO Sunhae Im, soprano SOLO Johanna Stojkovic, soprano SOLO Max Ciolek, tenor 18:37    C  1 1-6 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________ 8:22 PM            1158 Antonin Dvorak                Slavonic Dance No.  8 in […]

  • Yo Lassus! Long time no see.

      Revisiting a great work of art years after one’s first acquaintance with it is like revisiting an old friend. The passage of time changes people but not art, so our reacquaintance with a work beloved in our past tells us as much about ourselves as it does about the art object. Of course, the […]