Do DJs dream of electric beats? Does WKCO, or Radio Free Kenyon, play music from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday? The answer to both questions is ﾗ yes. WKCO is Kenyon’s own radio station, and has resided in the basement of Farr Hall since 1973. Composed of approximately 80 DJs and 50 interns, which is nearly one out of every 12 Kenyon students, WKCO is the largest student organization on campus.
Whether you’re in the mood for “Fire Hazard” with Kevin McKinney ’16 and Taylor Cornelius ’16, which consists of thematic playlists such as “Trains” or any other such inanimate object, or Modern Romantics, with Will Quam ’14, which involves Quam jamming out to soothing classical music, WKCO has it all ﾗ rock, rap, swing, jazz and even “Drunken Bar Mitzvah.” The list goes on, and is only getting longer.
In an attempt to diversify their shows, WKCO has gotten creative. “A couple weeks ago,” said Co-Manager Kelsey Vogt ’14, “we had a pop culture quiz show where we auctioned off my co-manager [Hugh Wilikofsky ’14] for a date, in which four people competed for him. They answered pop-culture quiz questions and it would fit in that block. Things that aren’t necessarily music.” Not all the shows they put on are music-related ﾗ they have Cinema Talks, Trivia and some Snack Talks.
“We kind of wanted to have a news thing,” said Vogt, “but for next semester, I’m working on a show which is going to be live interviews with different people. Taking calls on air.” Though the radio station already has a large array of shows, the staff still thinks that there’s room for more, and is even trying to have shows run later into the evening.
WKCO’s “free form radio” format allows them to have a polymorphous station. So instead of having jazz at 11 a.m. every Thursday, followed by rock at noon, they can play whatever they want, whenever they want, so long as it’s Federal Communications Commission-appropriate, of course. But don’t worry, just because they don’t play your favorite show, it doesn’t mean they’ve done away with it. If your favorite funk show doesn’t play at 9 a.m., it’ll probably be at some other time ﾗ after all, they’re not about to give up the funk.
“One of our goals this year was to become more involved with the community,” Vogt said. In order to accomplish an increase of involvement, WKCO has begun playing music in Peirce. On Sept. 19, which is WKCO Day, named so after their frequency of 91.9, and on Nov. 13, which was in celebration of WKCO Music Trivia at the Village Inn, students with an empty stomach and a parched throat were privy to such lunchtime jams, and not the kind offered in the dining area. “We take requests,” said Vogt, “and on the 19th we had, like, a student band showcase here.” In an attempt to be more present, WKCO decided to spice up meals in a way of their own, except instead of Sriracha, they offered such tunes as A-ha’s “Take on Me” and Smash Mouth’s “All Star.”
The two events were a big hit. “People call in like crazy. And I’ve talked to a couple AVI workers who really enjoy it,” said Vogt. “We would like to do it more often, but playing music in Peirce is very difficult.” The reason behind Peirce’s apparent lack of a soundtrack is that it is difficult to set up the equipment. But WKCO is up to the challenge and one can count on the fact that they are going to take on Peirce when it comes to playing music.
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