Running the Gamut – A Thousand and One Wednesdays

Since July 11, 1991, I’ve been hosting a classical music morning program on WTJU, 91.1fm in Charlottesville Virginia.. That statement in itself isn’t that remarkable. Despite the turmoil in commercial and NPR-affiliate non-commercial stations, it’s still possible to have some longevity as a volunteer announcer.

But I chose to do something different with “Gamut,” my three-hour program. Within some structured guidelines each host can select their own music. For a classical music program, the works have to be in the classical genre, they can’t be works aired within the past six weeks on other classical shows, one must air the complete work unless an art song, or opera air/overture (in other words, if you’re going to air a symphony, air the whole thing — not a single movement).

To all of those, I added an additional requirement for my program — only air a work once. So once I aired Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, that was it — you wouldn’t hear it again on Wednesday morning. Yes, I know that Karajan’s performances of the work are different than Furtwangler’s, or Klempler’s, or Bernstein’s, or many other orchestras and conductors and that each interpretation offers some variety in the listening experience.


I wanted to do a true survey of classical music, and the only way to do so was to keep myself moving forward. With all the classical music from the early Middle Ages through today to choose from, I didn’t think I’d run out of works to air. And twelve years later, there’s still plenty to share.

Because each program was unique, I assigned it a number. And coming up on May 22, 2013, I’ll be airing program #1,000. It’s something of a milestone, and we’ll be marking the occasion with some special features and a few surprises.

If you already listen to the show, stay tuned! If not, you can listen to the last two programs from the WTJU online tape vault.

And if you’d like to phone in a message to be aired during the 1000th show, just call WTJU at 434.207.2120
Part 1: A Thousand and One Wednesdays
Part 2: A Thousand and One Milestones
Part 3: A Thousand and One Lessons
Part 4: A Thousand and One Questions
Part 5: A Thousand and One Thanks

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