Happy 60th Anniversary, WFMT


I can honestly say my life is richer, wiser,  nobler, deeper, sublimer, fuller, truer, sharper, brighter, wider and absolutely so much  better in every imaginable way  because of the radio station WFMT, 98.7 on the FM dial.   Most of what I know about classical music comes from  WFMT.  And throughout my  life,  it has been and remains a  source and guide for the most magnificent  music ever created by man.  Music  that has nourished my mind and my heart and my soul.  Today WFMT celebrates its 60th anniversary.

When I was attending  DePaul University and living at home,  I rarely  missed Norman Ross on a  Saturday morning.  I can still hear his distinctively warm voice  introducing me to Aaron Copeland for the first time --- the animated  Hoedown from the Rodeo Suite. Or Bernstein's sophisticated  and ironic Candide Overture. What electrifying energizing sound.

Whenever I hear Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, that horrific and profoundly sad November weekend in 1963 after the assassination of President Kennedy  comes back  to life. WFMT understood the expressive and healing power of great music.

This morning  I caught host Carolyn Paulin interviewing violinist Rachel Barton Pine who  frequently  performs live in the WFMT studio. Miss Pine a native Chicagoan,  told  how as a young girl she was inspired by WFMT  to pursue her illustrious career.  Her parents would drive Chicago Symphony conductor Henry Mazer for performances in the suburbs, and he would quiz her about the music on WFMT.  What was the period of the piece?  The time signature? The composer?  Miss Pine said  she  never goes a day without playing the violin.  Observing that  her violin teachers used to tell  her to practice only on the days she eats,  she  amplified on that advice : "I only practice on the days I breathe."

Happy Anniversary to a Chicago, national, and international  cultural icon and  treasure that still  takes  my breath away!  And as long as I can breathe, I'll be tuning in.


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  • 98.7 FM will be a great station to buy out and flip to Alternative Rock in place of Q101. It was good that 97.1 FM was rescued from being a wasted frequency 10 years ago. Move the classical music to the non-commercial band and free up a good frequency that appeals to more people.

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