Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Return of the Radio Star

Tomorrow morning, I will be back on the air as the host of "Gamut," and I promise a very special show.

So where have I been? Well, health issues forced me to give up the program back in August, and I was not able to return until this week. Things are much better now, and so I'm back (I know some people will want more information, but the folks that need to know the details of my condition already know, so let's just leave it at that).

So what to do after a three-month absence? This past summer when it looked like WTJU would drop classical programming entirely, I decided I would have a final show ready just in case. As you know, thanks to the support from the community, that didn't happen, so I shelved the program.

Normally, "Gamut" is about surveying the length and breadth of classical music -- which is why I never repeat a work on the show (easiest way to force me to move on). For that final show, though, I thought I would take a look back and play some of my favorite works that perhaps you might have missed.

The more I thought about it, the more it seemed the right way to return to the air. So tomorrow it will be survey of some of my favorite works that I've aired before. Next week, we'll return to our normal survey mode.

So what can you expect? Works both short and long. I'd like to share the Hessenberg Second Symphony with you, one of the best-constructed works of the 20th Century in my opinion. I'll also be playing a symphony by Hovhaness, Steve Reich's "Clapping Music," and perhaps a few other contemporary goodies.

If I can find the disc, I'll air some baroque music by Heinichen, a Hummel piano concerto, and Tallis' "Spem in Alum" for 40 voices. Perhaps some Dvorak, Palestrina, Praetorious, and even some Machaut if I can find the time.

I'm thankful to be back, and especially grateful to all of my colleagues in the classical department who stepped forward and volunteered to keep the show going. If you think it's a sacrifice to get up early once a week to put on a radio show at six in the morning, try doing it twice a week! That's what some of our dedicated volunteers did. And remember, none of us get paid -- we do this for the love of the music.

If you're excited about my return (or not), if you too feel grateful to the folks who kept "Gamut" going, then please remember to share the love when our Classical Fund-Raising Music Marathon starts in a few weeks. As much as I appreciate the phone calls and the well-wishes, it's how much comes in from listeners to help fund the operation of WTJU that will really speak volumes.

I look forward to returning to the airways tomorrow, so we can continue our exploration of this amazingly diverse world of classical music together. Remember: "Gamut" 6-9 AM exclusively on WTJU, 91.1FM.

It's a date.


  1. Dear Ralph,

    I'm so glad you're back! And I wish you well.

    Art Thomas,Denizen of Liberty Woods

  2. Say, that's near my neck of the woods (I live in the town of Orange). I'm happy to be back, and am very grateful for all the kind words folks have shared with me. I guess someone was listening after all!