KU News Release

Feb. 11, 2011
Contact: Phil Wilke, Kansas Public Radio, 785-864-5016

Kansas Public Radio hires new music director, classic music host

More Information

LAWRENCE — For Kansas Public Radio’s new classical music director, everything old is new again.

Mark Edwards has been a classical music host on several stations across the country but is coming to KPR from Portsmouth, N.H., where he was director of operations for several stations. He’s also returning to the area, having been on air for a jazz station in Kansas City.

Edwards has bounced around the radio dial in his broadcasting career, but is delighted to find a home at KPR.

“I was drawn to Kansas Public Radio for a few reasons,” he said. “I missed programming and playing classical music on the radio and missed being part of the classical music community. I was impressed with KPR’s commitment to the music and its rich history of providing this programming to the region. I lived in Kansas City in the early 2000s and love the area. I’m really happy to be back.”

Edwards brings more than 30 years broadcasting experience to the job, with considerable experience as program director and music director at stations in Boston, Atlanta, New Orleans and Kansas City. From 2007 to 2009, he was program director at WCRB Boston, at the time the highest-rated commercial classical in the country. While there, he also hosted a daily classical show as well as the weekly Boston Symphony radio broadcasts. From 2004 to 2007, Edwards was director of programming for Nassau Broadcasting’s nine-station group in New Hampshire, where he oversaw multiple formats, including classical.

To Edwards, there is more to classical music than tone, timbre and talent.

“Music has a way of moving us that in many ways is unequalled in life,” he said. “Beyond the vital information about the piece: the name of the piece, the composer and the performance information, I think it’s important to relay the emotional experience of listening to the world’s greatest music.”

Edwards will face a steep learning curve, not necessarily at the station but getting to know the community.

“I know that there’s a vibrant arts community in the region,” he said. “I look forward to meeting the musicians and getting to know intimately the organizations that support and present this music locally. As great as listening to classical music is on the radio, there’s nothing like experiencing classical music in person. I believe classical music is something everyone can experience and love. I look forward to being an ambassador of sorts for this great art form.”

KPR, licensed to the University of Kansas, broadcasts on 91.5 FM in Lawrence, 89.7 FM in Emporia, 91.3 FM in Olsburg-Junction City, 89.9 FM in Atchison and 99.5 FM and 98.3 FM in Manhattan. KPR can be heard on the Internet at kpr.ku.edu. KPR also operates KPR2, a news-talk channel on HD Radio. Those broadcasts can be heard on a high-definition receiver or on KPR’s website.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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