Public Radio Music Day showcases how local stations keep listeners, artists & communities connected – even during this public health crisis
Today we’re proud to join local public radio music stations, fans, and featured performers nationwide to celebrate the first-ever Public Radio Music Day.
Philadelphia is home to two of the leading public radio music stations in the country with WXPN and its mix of rock, blues, folk and roots as well as WRTI with Classical by day and Jazz at night. Both stations have built powerful communities organized around musical discovery with a deep commitment to nurturing local talent.
In partnership with noncomMUSIC Alliance, leading non-commercial music station across the country planned an exciting day of station and joint community events to spotlight the unique service public radio music stations provide to audiences, artists, and communities across America. The planned activities have changed in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The stations pivoted as our audiences and the musicians they love need us as never before.
Now more than ever, local, community-based, artist-oriented public radio stations are finding creative ways to connect audiences with music, musicians, and each other. We’re working overtime to support our listeners and our local music ecosystem. Music stations’ response to the COVID-19 crisis is a powerful demonstration of our vital community service at the local level and collective impact on a national scale. For instance WXPN and WRTI have both set up calendars for virtual artist performances. WXPN ‘s daily “Checking In With….” daily series connects us to artists around the country to see how they are faring in the coronavirus crisis and what music is keeping them grounded. And WRTI’s daily feature The Morning Meditation: Music of Calm, Hope and Renewal has been an instant hit with listeners. In the last week, WXPN launched a Local Music Community Relief Fund aimed at supporting the local and regional music ecosystem of musicians, venues and related workers.
Although our non-commercial music stations feature different genres, we share a “Network of Values” –
a love of music discovery, curation of handcrafted playlists, preservation of regional and historic music traditions, performance across traditional and digital platforms, and community-based public service.
We strive to serve as significant cultural institutions to educate and enrich our community and support our region’s music ecosystem.
Although the COVID-19 health crisis has placed constraints on live community events, today we join public radio stations nationwide in continuing to provide a trusted, comforting and uplifting presence for music fans, artists, and communities. We’ll honor Public Radio Music Day with special on-air and online programming, virtual concerts, prerecorded fan favorites, testimonials from artists and listeners, and more.
WRTI will start the day with 12 hours of classical music featuring over 30 local ensembles, solo and chamber artists, and conductors. It will be followed by an evening of Philly jazz celebrating the masters, old and new, emerging artists, and the release of new music videos recorded in the WRTI performance studio and featured on NPR Live Sessions.
WXPN will kick off PRMD with an “All Philly Artists” morning show followed by a “pop up” Throwback Thursday. Artists and fans will share their love for public radio on-air and online. And we’ll connect artists and audiences through a series of Facebook live interviews and performances throughout the day.
Please join us! Tune in to WRTI and WXPN on-air or online (or both!). Take a moment to enjoy the music. Share it with your family, friends, and on social media. #LovePublicRadioMusic.
More information is available at PublicRadioMusicDay.org, wrti,org, and xpn.org.
Roger LaMay is the General Manager of WXPN at the University of Pennsylvania and former Chairman of the Board of NPR.
Bill Johnson is the General Manager of WRTI, a licensee of Temple University, and is currently Vice-Chair of Eastern Region Public Media.