Christa Wessel takes a break to pose for a photo.

Last week, as Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik played through the offices at All Classical, everyone found themselves humming along, perhaps involuntarily, to the iconic opening bars. Being continually surrounded by classical music, the All Classical staff is very accustomed to humming while they work. Whether it’s to a somber sonata or the Toreador’s Song from Carmen, there’s something about this music that entices participation. Humming, it seems, is a way to let the music vibrate through us, helping us to truly experience the music rather than just listening to it. For our Fall Fundraiser, we ask our listeners to do more than just listen. We ask that they feel the joy of experiencing the station as a full-fledged supporter and truly let the station become part of their lives.

Here’s a little look behind the scenes at our Fall Fundraiser:

During a the any fundraising drive, the usually quiet offices become loud, bustling with food and balloons and ringing phones. Volunteers come in and out, each more excited than the next. After a quick training session with the shift’s lead volunteer, they make their way to call room right next to the on-air booth to take calls from listeners. Some volunteers can’t help but get a bit star struck from hanging out with our hosts and being so close to the action.

Jack Allen

Jack Allen reads comments from our listeners on air.

On a normal weekday, Robert McBride and Christa Wessel host separate programs on All Classical. But during the drive they join forces with each other and ask listeners for support in between musical jokes and banter. One listener who donated to the station requested more of the “Robert and Christa comedy hour.” Fundraising drives are some of the only times our hosts get a chance to open up about themselves and, in doing so, often share their more humorous sides with the listeners, from Ed Goldberg’s infinite Lenny Bruce quotes to Robert’s wry musical commentary. We even hear Jack Allen, the President & CEO at All Classical, on air alongside our hosts, sharing his thoughts on the importance of community funded radio. And most importantly, we hear the names and comments from our listeners, which always seem to have the most profound effects.

In the fundraising room

Back in the call room, staff can often be found sneaking in to say hi to the volunteers and grab a cookie, or two, or three. As the phones start ringing, it’s hard not to overhear the great conversations being had. A listener calls in to tell us their toddler couldn’t help but bounce in their car seat along to Funiculì, Funiculà as it played through the car radio. A listener whose mother was an organist and taught her to love classical music. A listener whose son calls Mozart his favorite band. A listener who tells us we are her cat’s favorite station. And even calls from listeners whose reason is purely to show their support.

Volunteers who have been with the station for a while often comment on how quickly everything seems to change. Listeners can now call us, click us, or even tap onto the station website on their tablets and phones. We now get people listening to our online stream from all around the world. But All Classical retains its commitment to the local listeners, who tune in every day on analog radios. I’m always happy knowing that when I go home, I can turn my dial all the way down to 89.9 and just hum along.

If you missed out on our fall fundraiser, remember it’s never too late to give!

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Intern: 2013-2014

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