We did not want this day to come, but after 17 music-filled years with All Classical Portland, Senior Announcer Robert McBride is retiring. Robert’s legacy at the station includes holding a regular air shift in prime time for all 17 years, founding and producing Club Mod (All Classical’s weekly Saturday night program dedicated to modern music), hosting the weekly live broadcast series Thursdays @ Three, contributing to original programs Played in Oregon and Northwest Previews, and regularly leading pre-concert conversations with Music Director Carlos Kalmar before Oregon Symphony Concerts. Robert is beloved by artists, listeners, and fellow broadcasters for his depth of insight, on-air wit, and contagious passion for the music. Here are just a few comments from listeners:
Robert was not just an on-air announcer. The pleasure of listening to KQAC is as much the pleasure taken in people like Robert who infuse the music with joy and knowledge. The music itself is diminished without people like Robert to present it. When your ‘announcers’ infect the music with their joy of and for the music, I find myself drawn in more than I would just listening it from a CD or recording. A restaurant’s menu is only as good as the ambiance and service that accompanies the menu – so, too, with 89.9.
We’ll miss you, Robert. Richard and Michele
My wife and I listen to All Classical all day as we are retired and are at home most of the day, that is, when we are not traveling somewhere in this beautiful world.
Listening to Robert is a joy. He is a real class act! We will miss his commentary, his fine radio voice, and his talks at the Oregon Symphony. Please extend our congratulations on his retirement and we wish him much health and happiness.
Enjoy your free time Robert!
Sincerely, Mary and Joe
Daily, from the time I awaken to the time my eyes close for slumber, I listen to 89.9, enjoying so many of your broadcasts, Robert. Yes, even at work and in the car.
Just wanted you to know that I admire your wisdom and knowledge in the incredible venue of music, your dedication to your music audience and wish you much happiness in your retirement.
Very sincerely, Maria
Robert – You are my favorite voice on my favorite radio station! I can’t imagine All Classical without you, but I will adjust. Please know that you will be dearly missed….and please enjoy your retirement!
Thank you so much, Robert, for all the comforting hours of listening to you and your all classical music while I work. I’ve found my best concentration is often when your music is in the background… except, of course, when its opera that is not compatible with thinking.
I miss your soothing voice.
Rob, sustaining donor
The first time I heard Club Mod I stopped what I was doing and invested my full attention in the music. In later programs I stopped what I was doing to listen to your intro and apply it to what I was hearing.
Thank you so very much for your thoughtful and insightful presentation of music that shakes and stirs my soul.
Best Regards, Teresa
P.S. I love the international flavor of Club Mod! Listening to international modern composers makes me happy to be globally engaged in the arts!
I listen to All Classical much of the time in my retirement in Vancouver and have at least as far back as the late 1980s when I commuted from Beaverton to Vancouver. I enjoy each of the announcers, but Robert was probably my favorite and I miss him already. His clear voice and knowledge made him particularly easy to listen to, although I have to admit that Club Mod was not something I was into, probably because of the time it was on the air. I wish him well in his retirement. And to all the great folks at the station, keep up the great music offerings.
I know these sentiments will be wide spread for Robert who seems to be a pillar at All Classical, but I will truly miss his voice – his calm demeanor and his comments and knowledge, how he interacts with the staff especially during pledge drives – it’s fun to hear his voice and enjoy the comradery. The best to Robert and enjoying his retirement. I have the feeling that this music will always be part of his life – I know it will always be part of mine and I am so thankful that we have it here in Portland.
I feel that all the staff is very special and care about their work – each one brings a special gift with them. I’m also so glad that they have a wonderful view of the river now which is perfect for the music they host.
Janeen, sustaining donor
Robert McBride is truly a man of music. Besides being one of my on-air “friends” at All Classical, his music knowledge has greatly enriched my listening experiences. Being a senior and rather a traditionalist; I have appreciated being educated to modern music by his Club Mod program. While I wish him a rewarding retirement, I hope we will continue to hear his contributions to the Portland music scene from time to time.
“Thanks for the Memories,” Stan
Back when our youngest son was about six, he was inspired to give his birthday money to the station during pledge break and become a member himself. When we brought him in to make his donation, Robert McBride was so nice to him – showed him around the studio, answered his questions, even asked if he wanted to record a message (he was shy and passed on that). It became a birthday tradition that lasted for several years, and we tried to time our visits so he could say hello to his favorite hosts, Mr. McBride and Mr. Burk when he came in. Thank you for being the warm voice and face that he attached to the music.
I became hooked on radio broadcasts of classical music in the early 1990’s when Robert was doing a noontime show on OPB. I was an itinerant school counselor for Clackamas County ESD driving between schools up in Molalla. I would eat lunch and listen to Robert while driving to my next school. What a welcome oasis of beauty his music and his commentaries brought me.
Best wishes on the next phase of your career, Robert!
Robert’s program, Club Mod is perhaps my favorite…
Listener from day one, Dennis
Dear All Classical,
I was dismayed a while ago when I tuned in to listen to my favorite radio station in order to hear my favorite radio host, Robert McBride, and heard a different voice. I hoped that he was only on vacation, but then I discovered that he is retiring. Well earned by him, but how sad for folks like me who gained so much from him.
I was able to hear and experience his charm and wit and knowledge and musical sensitivity last night at the Symphony. So many of us have remarked over the years about how all of the above traits have been expressed between Carlos and Robert in their conversations. It is like we are overhearing a conversation in a Viennese Cafe, and feeling very blessed by it. Only a few more months… sigh.
His physiognomy reminds me of an almost exact replica I once saw on a Grecian urn — a lover of truth and beauty.
All the best to him!
With gratitude and fondness, Diane
Robert, happy retirement! It’s Great.
It was a pleasure seeing you at the station and listening to you all these years. Good luck always!
Frank & Monica
I have been tuned in to Robert McBride since I lived in Wyoming and you began streaming online. A knowledgeable voice and calm presence in the midst of a crazy world. Love Club Mod — even on the nights when it kind of makes me shake my head!
Thanks for your work Robert.
I have been listening to All Classical now for a few years. I never liked, understood, or listened to classical music before that but I have found that I am falling in love with classical music by not only listening to the music as I drive but by the enthusiasm, knowledge, feelings of “personal friendship”, warm-heartedness, and mentoring I have been receiving and “catching” from wonderful hosts such as Robert McBride. He is truly a gem and a gift to listeners such as myself – and I will miss him greatly. But since I have been so enjoying retirement now for 17 years, I wish the same for him now. Thank you, Robert for your years of making the wonderful music so special to listeners like myself.
I’m sad that Robert McBride is retiring. He is by far my favorite male voice/host. He is truly a voice talent!!
It is very sad for me to hear that Robert will no longer be a daily presence on All Classical!
I first met Robert when he was working at OPB in the mid 90’s and hosted a great couple of hours of great eclectic music in the afternoon. I was a volunteer for OPB and was organizing the radio reporters files. This was the time before the Internet became ubiquitous and most information was still contained by filing cabinets.
Somehow Robert had heard about my organizing skills and I was asked if I could cast up at his end of OPB and to sort of help organize his space… my first thought was, “how can this guy who has this great program and plays terrific music find anything here, like, what’s the system?” So I set to work on the floor among the boxes of CD’s. Robert left OPB not too long after for a position in New York. Before he left, I had a telephone call, no words were spoken, but what I heard was the 2nd movement from Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A, for me the proof that God exists. I was in tears. It was, I think, Robert’s way of thanking me, and it could not have been better.
When Robert came back to Portland and to All Classical, my husband Peter and I were delighted. We have enjoyed his talks at the symphony, chamber concerts, and his daily presence on All Classical. Peter died on February 14, I donated in his memory that very day. He would have been sad to hear that Robert will be leaving his daily stint. I wish you well Robert, it has been a pleasure to hear your voice and enjoy your programming.
Years ago one afternoon while driving through Woodburn,
I was listening to the 5th Symphony of Jean Sibelius. Once it concluded, Robert McBride classified it as being in his
top ten favorite works of the 20th century… I felt uplifted to have my own tastes intersect with his. My kind of host! Godspeed, Robert.
I’ve much appreciated Robert McBride’s charm, humor and (slightly quirky) wit, so I am very sorry that his voice will be heard less and less on the radio.
I am especially worried about the future of Club Mod: will the show continue to air, with (hopefully) or without Robert McBride? Or shall some altogether new programming continue the (essential) task of showcasing modern and contemporary music on this station?
Robert, I will miss your radio personality very much.
This is the curse of longevity – all one’s friends die and all one’s favorites in every possible field either retire or also die.
Robert has been my favorite ever I first listened to him many years ago, after moving to this blessed state… Please tell him that I wish him godspeed and may he enjoy the life to the fullest!
When I was doing my old “Choral Classics” program on All Classical at the former location at Benson High School, it was a joy to talk with you often. I was somewhat taken aback when you called me “Doctor,” as I’m not a doctor of anything, but a humble, old retired parish priest in the Episcopal Church who got bit by the radio-bug and volunteered to host the choral program. Your art of programming is inimitable and I never got up the courage to ask you for help in that area. “Aw, he’ll probably say ‘no way’ to me if I ask … or ‘Go away, don’t bother me!'” Instead I settled for your friendship during that six years I hung around the studio, and hoped I didn’t get in your way.
Later, in the “new digs” by the river, I got to see you at work in the new, state-of-the-art studio. And, of course, I have enjoyed your shows “Club Mod” and “Thursdays at Three”; I even attended one of the Thursdays when some members of the Bach Cantata Choir in which I still sing were performing on your program. And I’ll always remember and be grateful to see you at the BCC concert at St Mary’s Church in Mount Angel a few years ago when the Portland Symphonic Choir performed the Rachmaninoff “Vespers.” I sang with PSC then.
I’m sorry we won’t hear your dulcet tones on KQAC (I still want to say KBPS!) after you hang up your earphones. You have contributed mightily to the whole thing, bringing the best in classical music to our ears wherever we are; and with your excellent programming skills to enhance it.
Peace be yours!
Phillip Ayers (Host of “Choral Classics” on All Classical, 2001-2007)
How I am already missing Robert!!
I moved to Beaverton in 1998 and, of course, started listening to All Classical immediately. For the past 17 years I have thoroughly enjoyed Robert’s hosting and his beautiful on-air voice.
Robert, we wish you all the best as you celebrate retirement. We will miss you more than words can describe!
Sincerely, Karen and Robert
I just saw that Robert will be retiring in March. I am sorry about this and will miss him a lot. I have lived in a number of major cities (Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, New York) and have really not experienced anything like the quality of hosts and programming, community involvement, sincere commitment and love that All Classical represents. The truly unique aspect of the station hosts is their own careers and talents in the music we love. I wish Robert the best in whatever comes next and hope we will hear about his future endeavors from time to time.
Thank you to all involved. As you know, in these times All Classical is a refuge and therapy.
Judy, sustaining donor
I was fortunate, long ago, to spend an evening with Robert. We were both at an “event” and I recall recognizing his voice. He and our family shared a table and a very fun evening with fabulous food inspired by a movie. I am sure there are current versions of THE BIG NIGHT celebrations out there, but as I recall, it was a delight to share the evening with Robert at Cozze on SE 12th and Morrison, one of the originals in the area to offer this celebration of the movie in a Portland area restaurant. Peter has since moved to Astoria and opened a Fulios, and more recently retired. I would like to “shout out” to both Peter Roscoe and Robert McBride to the memory, and to celebrating life, music, food and spontaneous encounters!
I am happy for Robert and his retirement, and I hope that he will stay in touch, but I do want him to know that listeners of All Classical will surely miss him on a daily basis. His calm and inspiring voice, knowledge and love of music will be missed.
from google search: As part of the “Big Night” celebration, Peter Roscoe, chef and owner of Fulio’s Pastaria and Tuscan Steakhouse in Astoria, will be cooking a special “Big Night dinner.” When Big Night first premiered in 1996, Roscoe was inspired to host a weekly recreation’s of the film’s elaborate banquet meal at his Portland restaurant, Cozze. “It became a runaway hit for me,” Roscoe says. “Still to this day, I get people visiting Astoria who talk about those dinners.”
We have been listening to AllClassical since moving to the Portland metro area in 2002. It may have been difficult to decide to leave the station. Being retired, I appreciate the freedom you may have after leaving… but, who knows what’s around the corner.
I met you briefly at a Michala Petri concert at Reed Collage, probably 2011 or 2012. It was enjoyable to experience, in person, the tremendous love and knowledge of classical music we have enjoyed for so many years.
Have also appreciated how comfortable you help other announcers feel when together during support drives. The station seems like a cast of very interesting characters who all love classical music, whom we enjoy every day.
Am sure you will have many well-wishers to read through. So here’s wishing enjoyment & success in any and all future adventures.
Best Regards, John and Carole
I am a classical buff been one for years and I just got word that Robert McBride will be probably retiring soon from 89.9 All Classical Portland. I will miss his work and everything that he has done for All Classical Portland. Still what a great wonderful person he is.
As a graduate of Beaverton High School, you may remember Mother Miles of Arrowwood Lane. Yes, she is still alive at 101 and every night when we put her to bed, we put on All Classical because she wants to Listen to Robert! Thank you for entertaining her (and me since I returned home from New Zealand). Enjoy your partial retirement. I have also just re-retired. It’s hard to stop! All the best for a fun and creative retirement and we look forward to seeing you at the June Luncheon for the Golden Grads!
Cheers, Kathie, class of 1960 BHS
Dear Robert, you brought me to All Classical with your beautiful voice and presence on the air. Once hooked, I began to learn from your wisdom and enthusiasm, and looked forward to hearing you every day. Though you have surely earned what I hope will be a happy and rich retirement, I will miss you more than I can say. All the best to you!
Terri, sustaining donor
I’m sorry to read that Robert McBride is retiring. I got to know him on the All Classical tour of Scotland and Ireland in October of 2016. He is such a nice man, and he has the best radio voice.
First Robert Siegel, now Robert McBride? I hope there are younger people with mellifluous radio voices.
I am 87 years old and have listened to classical music since the age of 5. It still captures my soul, even more so than ever before.
To Mr. McBride, I’ll only say that you truly are near the top of my list of the best of all the pros I have heard in Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, and Portland. You are a tremendous educator, enchanting conversationalist, and spirited explorer in the world of classical music. Thank you! You will be missed by all your listeners and co-workers.
What an honor for you to carry with you! Have a safe and healthy retirement, Robert.
Sincerely yours, Robert
I have been listening to Robert McBride for decades, and his retirement feels like losing a friend. His insights into music, humor on the air, and company throughout the day is sorely missed. Among his other contributions, as the founding host of Thursdays @ Three, Robert brought something new, wonderful, and lasting to All Classical. Good luck Robert. Enjoy your retirement! And thank you for being such a big part of my life and the lives of so many others in Portland and around the world.
That is sad news. His calm demeanor and playful banter with Christa in the morning will be missed. I’ve moved to Los Angeles and haven’t been able to listen in quite so often, but he was a kind presence on your station for the ten years I listened. Thank you, Robert. May your retirement be a blessing and peaceful.
I am so sad that Robert McBride is retiring. He is my favorite voice on the station. His mother was right. I believe she said he belonged on the radio.
I discovered KQAC and Robert McBride half a decade ago or so while working in a law office. I remember Robert’s on-air appreciation of James DePreist after the conductor’s passing, and I was so moved by his tribute that I emailed to thank him. In the years since, I’ve listened often when I could to his daily shifts behind the microphone. Alas, I came late to Club Mod, which I have tremendously enjoyed these last few months. I will be listening to the finale on Saturday.
I offer my best wishes to him and thank him and All Classical Portland for the many hours of pleasure you have provided.
Best wishes in retirement, Michael
Congratulations to Robert! Glad to hear he’ll still be helming the Club Mod show (for a little while) and hope he finds many other avenues in the Portland scene.
The following dedications were made to Robert McBride during All Classical Portland’s recent Lovefest Fundraiser:
Peggy in North Portland: “to Robert McBride, and all the staff”
Barre in SW Portland: “Honoring Robert McBride. Missing him already!”
Ginger in Vancouver: “THIS IS DEDICATED TO ROBERT MCBRIDE.”
Lynne in NE Portland: “For Robert McBride. To say that I will miss him on the air, is inadequate. BUT, I will carry forward his gift for appreciating music. Robert’s ability to communicate his own well-informed knowledge through his own personal expression has given me access to the music at a deeper level. Thank you, Robert”
Bill in NE Portland: “Our donation is dedicated to Robert McBride whom we have enjoyed listening to for *many* years. We wish him a very happy retirement. And Jan and I are celebrating 52 years of being together. Wahoo! Bill”
Janyce in NE Portland: “I have been missing Robert McBride. I am going to miss him after his retirement. This donation is in his honor. Whenever I donate, someone usually calls to say thank you. That is very unusual. I appreciate those calls. It is a very nice personal touch. Yesterday, I wanted to find out why Robert was no longer on the air. I went to your website. It was incredible to read the bios of everyone and see their faces. The backgrounds you all have are very impressive. The whimsy you include about your lives are great details as well.”
Merrit in Milwaukie: “I give this in honor of Robert McBride, who helped get this broken-down, grumpy, old, EX-mailman through some long afternoons the last 8 years of my career. Happy Retirement, Robert!”
Nancy in SW Portland: “Dedicated, of course, to Robert McBride. -sniffle”