The Harvard Gazette is “the official news website for Harvard University,” and seems to be updated more-or-less daily. The May 4th issue featured a story by Jon Chase on WHRB staying on the air (‘WHRB keeps classical connections’), despite the unexpected departure of most of its staff, as I posted in ‘WHRB and HAH Are Still on the Air’. Readers will remember Jon from his photo ‘Slideshow’ on Hillbilly at Harvard back in 2014.
Jon, whose official title is University Photographer, couldn’t come in to capture the small team of station members keeping WHRB on the air, so he used photos from them and others to let the Harvard community know how the station was faring during the pandemic.
That’s Allison Pao, current WHRB President, with a mandolin (she’s really a violinist) at the head of the article. Writes Jon,
WHRB president Allison Pao ’21 said it’s been a collaborative effort to stay on air 24/7, with staff on duty at all hours. An undergraduate student comes in every Saturday afternoon to produce regular Metropolitan Opera broadcasts. General manager Emily Spector ’21, chief studio engineer Margaux Winter ’21, and former chief engineer Hamish Nicholson ’20 live nearby and regularly come into the station to manage basic operations.
“Undergraduate staff have been working hard to produce broadcasts remotely as well, recording our classical afternoon concerts from 1 to 6 p.m. on weekdays,” Pao added. “This in itself is a massive effort which requires ripping hundreds of CDs and recording hundreds of announcing breaks
Despite the limited staff on site, WHRB has still managed to present two weeks of its semi-annual Orgy® Period, featuring programs built around a single theme, composer, or style of music. They’re listed in the WHRB Program Guide, available for download in PDF HERE.
HAH listeners who like ‘jamgrass’, ‘new acoustic music’, Americana, etc. should check out ‘The American Acoustic Orgy’, starting at 10:00 AM Monday (May 11th). Following that are 28 hours of ‘The Ella Fitzgerald Orgy’, from 5:00 AM to 7:00 PM Tuesday the 12th, 5:00 AM to 1:00 PM Wednesday the 13th, and Thursday the 14th. And at 7:00 PM Tuesday tune in for the ‘North Carolina Bluegrass Orgy’, hosted by Margaux Winter. Margaux will feature artists like ‘Rhiannon Giddens, Mandolin Orange, Chatham Rabbits, and Hank, Pattie & the Current’. Wednesday will rebroadcast the 2019 tribute to David Elliott with ‘The David Elliott Orgy’ at 1:00 PM. See the Program Guide for more details.
The other news is that WHRB is asking for donations:
“We published our station’s response to the pandemic on March 16 as well as an update on April 21 asking for donations on our website,” Pao said. “We are raising money because we are projected to lose over a third of our annual operating budget in the next few months due to canceled ad campaigns from our clients, many of whom are performing arts organizations in the Boston area.”
. . . The team remains determined to keep things running. The radio station prides itself on being “entirely self-supporting,” Spector said. As a commercial nonprofit business, the station is provided studio space, but otherwise does not receive funding from the University.
Of course, ‘commercial’ means advertising! You can advertise your business on WHRB. Rates are very reasonable, and you can advertise on Hillbilly at Harvard as well as on the Boston area’s most innovative Classical, Jazz, and Rock programming. See my post, ‘Don’t Clap—Throw Money (or Rather, Buy Time!)‘ Email Sales@WHRB.org
PS HAH got a mention in this article as well, and a photo—from Jon’s 2014 ‘Slideshow’!
PPS Orgy® information updated; thanks to listener Louis in NYC. /CL