Students who work at WERS-FM (88.9) are preparing for some long—but exciting—days ahead as the Emerson radio station launches its biannual Live Music Week, October 18–26.
Dora Gonzalez, MA '14, is a student employee at WERS-FM. (Photo by Tyler McAndrew '16)
Students and volunteers will staff the phone lines from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm each day as the public radio station, which plays an eclectic mix of modern and indie rock, gives away prizes to listeners—including the grand prize of a weeklong Costa Rica vacation—as part of the fundraising event.
Dora Gonzalez, MA ’14, is a development assistant at WERS who says the station gets inundated with calls from donors “who listen to us all the time and love the music we play.”
“It’s really great to know your work is appreciated by the community and that people want to help keep WERS going,” she said.
Live Music Week is also about, well, the music.
During Live Music Week, musicians visit WERS to play live on the air. The students and volunteers are responsible for inviting these artists to the station.
“I have the ability to reach out to seemingly whomever I want,” says live mix coordinator and studio engineer Virginia Wright ’14, who scheduled the artists for the week. “It’s really cool to be able to connect independent musicians with the Greater Boston community.”
Nicole Simeone '15, a student employee at WERS-FM. (Photo by Tyler McAndrew '16)
Gonzalez handles prep work for the week, promoting the event through social media and ensuring everyone involved knows what they are doing when it comes time to go live.
“I started as a DJ and hadn’t participated in everything that came beforehand. Now I’m on the other side,” Gonzalez said.
In addition to making donations, WERS listeners can renew their memberships during Live Music Week. Supporters can receive gifts such as T-shirts and mugs (depending on donation amount) and are also entered to win bigger giveaways, such as the Costa Rica vacation.
The thought of working at 6:00 am is unfathomable for most college students, but on-air DJ and production coordinator Nicole Simeone ’15 said she does not mind the early hours.
“It will all be worth it because I get the opportunity to work with talented staff and dedicated listeners,” she said.