Temple University’s radio station, WRTI, celebrated its 50th anniversary with an open house on Wednesday, April 28. While showcasing its brand new studio location and amenities, WRTI received recognition for its outstanding jazz program.
The move from Annenberg Hall to 15th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue greatly expands the capabilities of this nationally renowned public radio station.
Included in the renovation of the University’s Entertainment and Community Education Center’s third floor are new recording studios, computers and software.
Included in the renovation is a performance studio capable of holding live performance broadcasts with in-studio guests. WRTI’s officials hope this addition will become a new center for cultural organization and activity.
During the open house, business went on as usual at the station, with a group of students from the Esther Boyer College of Music performing live classical music. An added musical library, holding more than 68,000 CDs as well as an extensive LP collection, vastly expands the station’s capability to play CDs.
In all, seven new studios were added to the station’s new home.
Station officials hope that the new environment will attract more sponsors and partners to continue as an all jazz and classical station.
WRTI Executive Director Dave Conant accepted the Mellon Jazz Community award. Conant was presented with a decorated glass award from Mellon representatives and a donated $5,000 check to the station for it’s continued efforts.
“The Mellon award is a real thrill for us.” Conant said. “We consider ourselves a part of the cultural and artistic community. It’s purpose is to let people know that the arts of thriving, classical music and jazz are not dead arts. There are people who are willing to pay to listen to it and be members of the station, and we couldn’t possibly be in a place like this, without that support.”
Conant is hopeful that the new home for WRTI will help attract more sponsors. “Nothing breeds success like success, and we plan to be more visible not only as a radio station, but as an adjunct to Temple University. I think we’re a pretty good advertisement for Temple, and their belief in the community and the arts.”
Besides the obvious benefits the station stands to gain from the new home, Conant feels that a statement is being made as well. “This proves that jazz and classical music is viable, and people are willing to listen to it,” Conant said.
Joe Redding can be reached at email@example.com.