WTJU Launches Fall Fund Drive on Friday

October 22, 2009 — WTJU-FM (91.1) the University of Virginia's radio station, is serving up 10 days of classical and jazz music for its annual fall fund drive, which starts at 6 a.m. Friday.

Five 24-hour days of classical music will be followed by five days of jazz. The goal for the campaign is $50,000. Pledges can be made by calling 434-924-3418 or 434-924-3959. Donations can also be made online.

Programming at WTJU is run largely by volunteers. Paula O'Buckley, director of classical music, who has volunteered for more than two years, has a regular show, "Classical Café" from 6 to 9 a.m. Thursdays. She works as an operating room nurse at the U.Va. Medical Center.

About 20 volunteers have put together the classical music schedule, she said. Expect to hear music that isn't often on the radio dial, including classical Asian, Spanish, Indian and Russian classical, she said.

She is kicking off the programming Friday morning with Asian classical music, which will include the Silk Road Ensemble with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

Jazz programming begins Wednesday and will include live in-studio performances, said WTJU jazz director David Eisenman, a U.Va. alumnus and longtime volunteer whose weekly show, "Induced to Judder," airs Thursdays from 9 to 11 p.m.

Visiting the studio will be two Charlottesville-based groups, the Houston Ross Trio (Wednesday, 7 p.m.) and Fritz Berry and the Blues Farm (Nov. 1, 7 p.m.).

Eisenman will host a program called "Chestnuts Roasting in a Hot CD Player" from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday with Michael Gourier, who was at WWOZ in New Orleans, but fled Katrina and is now a DJ and jazz director at WRIR-FM in Richmond.

Other shows will highlight 70 years of music from Blue Note Records and the music of 1959, "a landmark year in jazz," Eisenman said.

"That was the year of 'Kind of Blue' by Miles Davis," he said. "There was a host of great recordings."

Jazz previews are on the WTJU Jazz Blog.

O'Buckley, a native of New York City, said her interest in classical music goes back to childhood, when she began taking lessons. She attended the LaGuardia School of Music and Art and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and pursued a career as an opera singer.

"It was harder than I expected from a business point of view," she said. So she got a nursing degree in upstate New York and moved to Charlottesville to work at the U.Va. Medical Center.

She still sings in local productions and churches. "Now I do it for nothing because I still love it," she said.