Volunteers are needed to listen to music for on-air play.
By Richard Hernandez
During your commute to class you might find yourself listening to some radio broadcasts, but have you ever imagined yourself behind the mic?
The radio-television-broadcasting program offers that opportunity to students.
“The program gave me the opportunity to learn a lot more about radio broadcasts and the production that goes into it,” Tommy Banks, assistant program director for campus radio station KSYM 90.1 FM, said Sept. 11.
He is a graduate of this college’s RTVB program.
“I definitely increased my knowledge and skills when it comes to working on the radio,” he said. “I went from listening to being the guy on the radio.”
Banks spends his Monday nights hosting “The TNT Show” 11 p.m.- 1 a.m. using his radio name Tommy 2x.
His broadcast features urban music.
“(KSYM) is a great way to get involved and earn experience,” Banks said. “I have a blast, and it’s a great way to reach out to the community and to be a part of the school.”
The RTVB program is always looking for new students and offers a chance to learn the business first-hand, Banks said.
“To those that are interested come in and talk to any of the instructors and we’ll tell you all about the program,” Banks added. “It’s a great way to learn communication skills, get involved with the school and the community. It’s all about gaining experience.”
KSYM offers a wide variety of programs for listeners to enjoy. From Hip-Hop, Jazz, Rap, Classical, Mo-Town, and local artists, the radio station has something for everything, Banks said.
“Being a DJ is fun,” KSYM Program Director James Velten said. “It’s always something new.”
Velten has hosted “The Sauce with Hot Mustard” since May 11, 2009. He is also a graduate of the program and is now employed by the college to work with the radio station.
Velten said volunteering with KSYM and being enrolled in RTVB 1150, Radio Experience, are the fastest way to becoming a part of the station.
“For those that volunteer long enough and show interest, we approach them about hosting their own show so we can train them,” Velten said. “Our 9-4 p.m. radio broadcast hours are reserved for our students to have a one-hour lab time on air.
“There they create their radio personalities and really make it their own. We focus on making sure they’re announcing correctly and filling out the radio log properly. It’s all about making sure it’s done right, being knowledgeable, and showing that you’re dedicated. Once they finish (RTVB 1150), they can apply for their own show.”
Volunteers for KSYM don’t have to be RTVB majors, he said.
Anyone willing to listen to new music and decide what is playable on the radio is encouraged to volunteer.
“We have a lot of non-majors who come in and just hang out,” Velten added. “Some people are interested in radio, love music, and enjoy having a say in what gets played.
“They come in listen to music and help us decide what’s good. We also do a lot of campus and community events throughout the semester, and they enjoy being involved with that.”
You can find the KSYM team at Local at La Tuna, a two-day music festival for local bands 4:30 p.m.-midnight Sept. 28-29.
For information on volunteering at KSYM, call 210-486-1371.