A toast to The Listener
Another New England Public Radio fund drive is speeding along to a successful conclusion. And I'm outta here for the next two weeks, during which old friend and colleague Jon Solins will be here mornings to keep the classical platters spinnin'. So, let me take this time to offer thanks and praise for the person responsible for keeping classical music alive and on-the-air: The Listener. Yes, I think of the audience not as thousands of listeners, but as one listener thousands of times over. So how would I describe The Listener? Let me tell you.
The Listener tunes in expecting great music. Now, The Listener may or may not know the ins and outs of musical history and terminology. But The Listener can hear the difference between great and not-so-great, and doesn't mind asking — and paying — for the good stuff. The Listener shares opinions, asks questions, occasionally offers corrections and criticisms, and keeps us on our toes. The Listener has high standards along with open ears and an open mind. The Listener gives the lie to the stupid stereotype of classical music fans as humorless old stick-in-the-muds who panic at the slightest hint of modernity — not that you can easily put one over on The Listener (don't ask me how I know this).
The Listener knows that classical music on the radio is a privilege to be preserved, not a right to be demanded, and acts accordingly. The Listener is an active partner in keeping classical music alive in New England and beyond. Without The Listener, there would be no reason to play classical music on WFCR. Without The Listener, there would be no means by which to play classical music on WFCR. All hail The Listener! And while we're at it, please give yourself a pat on the back — and please, please, keep yourself safe and well during the storm.