Two summer programs offer young people access to radio broadcasting
Children love the idea of being radio producers and DJs, judging by the popularity of WTJU’s three summer camps in July for aspiring broadcasters ages 8 through 13.
“Our summer camps for upper elementary and middle school students have had waiting lists since May,” said Nathan Moore, WTJU general manager.
WTJU caps enrollment in each five-day session at 12, to ensure a hands-on experience for campers, Moore said. By the Friday of each camp, these kids will host short radio segments on WXTJ 100.1 FM, which is WTJU’s student-run sister station.
Beginning June 25, local young people will have another opportunity to be on the air when WXTJ 100.1 FM will partner with Charlottesville’s Music Resource Center to host live broadcasts of students’ music each weekday, noon to 5 p.m.
Programming will consist of recordings produced over the years at the Music Resource Center, plus live conversations with participants in the center’s current summer camps, Moore said.
“Our members are developing their on-air voices, curating content, and discovering music by trying their hand at spinning vinyl records,” said Lucas Brown, marketing and communications director for the Music Resource Center. “So having their voices broadcast on an FM band is a great chance for some real- world experience.”
The music center is a non-profit group located in a former church at 105 Ridge St. It houses rehearsal spaces, music studios, a dance room, and a performance hall, primarily for use by school-aged musicians and their mentors.
Moore said this is the fifth year that WTJU is running its youth radio camps camps, but it’s the first year of collaborating with the Music Resource Center to offer broadcast opportunities to its musicians.
These two initiatives are “great for giving students experience, of course,” said Moore. “But they are also an amazing opportunity for our community to hear what young people can come up with and broadcast.”
About WTJU 91.1 FM
Founded at the University of Virginia in 1957, WTJU 91.1 FM offers non-commercial radio broadcasting, digital media, live music concerts, and educational programs. WTJU is also home to WXTJ 100.1 FM, freeform student radio; Teej.fm, a local podcast network; and CharlottesvilleClassical.org.