June 4, 2023

Tune In and Listen Up: Big Changes to Old Staples

“It’s such a well-kept secret.”

Donna Acerra laughed heartily in her office as she discussed WNCC with the Commuter staff. The Radio/TV professor was affable as she discussed the history of the thirty-year legacy on campus. As a unique combination of class and club, this hidden gem has been kept well and alive throughout the history of NCC and gears up for one of its biggest changes yet.

Starting out as Cable FM in the late seventies and eighties, the station has assisted students by getting their feet wet in a real world environment. Running manned for 18 hours a day, the station features an eclectic mix of music, ranging from fast jazz with Diana Krall, to pop from J-Lo, to current country with Miranda Lambert and everything in between.

Club president, Bria Dews explained that the station has a podcast feel. History, music and poetry are just a few elements.

The bulk of the work is done by the Radio Workshop class. Station Manager and Radio/TV major Andrew Trumbore has worked on blocks featuring the Zach Brown Band, Ol’ Blue Eyes and even stand-up comedy. One of the focus points of the class and Trumbore’s work are the features.

“Features are basically where we do a couple minutes about the person and then cut to a song or dialogue by the person,” Trumbore said.

The radio students create features; having students take essays they wrote on a given subject and learn to read them repeatedly until it sounds as if they’re speaking naturally. Afterward, they help work on creating sound effects and audio beds, or bed tracks – a sequence of music designed to be the foundation of a song or other audio pieces.

These tracks, usually built with bass or percussion elements sometimes include more melodic aspects that act as the background to help give a feature the right atmosphere to fit the mood and subject. When combined, they give WNCC a unique sense of variety.

“You want to have enough content so they’re not hearing the same thing all the time,” Acerra said.

Whether it’s through the TuneIn Radio app or tunein.com, students can search for WNCC to listen in at any time and discover something new.

However, WNCC is about more than just music and searches for new talent, stories to cover and specials to create. With a dedicated recording studio in Communications Hall, the station has all the logistical capabilities required to accomplish anything.

“We have the capability to do live broadcasting and can interrupt our stream at any time. You have to be committed and serious,” Acerra said, “We want somebody who will cultivate an audience, tell their friends that they should listen and plan a show that is meaningful for students.”

Acerra encourages anyone interested in writing, recording or contributing to the station to meet on Tuesdays at 11 a.m. in Communications Hall 139. Whether it’s as an individual or through another club, all new material is accepted. With future plans to merge with other news and media outlets on campus, a future Spartan Media Group will need as many fresh faces as possible.

So listen up and join in. The best-kept secret on campus is about to get a whole lot louder.

Students interested in joining up with WNCC are encouraged to contact Donna Acerra at dacerra@nullnorthampton.edu

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