Do you love folk music? Have you been bit by the radiobug?
As you might already know, broadcasts of the Folk Show are programmed and engineered by a crew of about 15 dedicated volunteers. Many of us have been at it for a number of years, but new hosts join the crew just about every year. This year we have room for two or three new hosts, and we inviting you to get in touch if you’d like to give it a try.
If you’re intrigued by the idea, but worry that you don’t have the knowledge or skills, consider checking it out anyway—you might be pleasantly surprised! For one thing, an encyclopedic knowledge of folk music isn’t necessary. If you enjoy folk music, we’ll provide you the resources you need to put together shows that draw on a wide range of traditional and contemporary folk music. WPSU has a large collection of folk music, organized by genre and annotated with information to help the on-air host put together entertaining and interesting broadcasts. As you program segments of the Folk Show, you’ll be exposed to quite an array of performers and styles. Many Folk Show hosts find that this is the most enjoyable part of the job.
Some potential folk hosts are intimidated by the electronic equipment that is part of the process. When you see the broadcast booth for the first time, you might be overwhelmed by the number of buttons, lights and digital displays, but luckily Folk Show hosts can ignore most of the equipment and focus for the most part on just two things: the microphone and the CD players. If you’ve ever been excited to tell a friend about an artist you’ve heard, and to play a CD for them, you already have the main skills you need to be a Folk Show host.
But there are a few other things you need to know to join the Folk Show crew, and you’ll need time to practice those skills off-air. The training process includes a couple of hours of orientation to the ideas behind broadcasts of the Folk Show, and as much time as needed practicing with fully operational, but “off-air” equipment.
I’ve heard some potential folk hosts say that they don’t have a “radio voice.” On the Folk Show we’re not so concerned about that. Folk music is closely associated with the common man (and woman), and a voice that sounds like an ordinary person isn’t such a bad thing.
What if broadcast seems like a bit of a stretch for you—something that’s out of your comfort zone. First of all, you’re welcome to try it anyway: you might surprise yourself ! And if broadcasting really isn’t for you, and you would still like to be a part of the Folk Show crew, there are lots of behind the scenes jobs that you could take on. You could help maintain our physical or digital library, or our on-line calendar, or write the copy for the on-air Folk Event Highlights. If you’d like to get involved, we can use you.
If you have any questions about getting involved with the Folk Show, you can reply to this post, or send and email to me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you !