December 1, 2011 — In 1959, WTJU began airing round-the-clock classical music in early December each year to help University of Virginia students study for semester exams. By the mid-1970s, these classical music marathons had turned into fundraisers for WTJU.
The tradition continues once again this year.
During the week of Dec. 5 to 11, listeners can tune in to WTJU-91.1-FM to hear classical music 24/7, presented by the station's knowledgeable hosts. Programs will run the gamut of classical genres, from medieval music to 21st-century composers; from baroque to romantic; from solo piano to grand opera.
"WTJU's classical marathons are almost as old as the station itself, but they remain a wonderful week of music," WTJU General Manager Nathan Moore said. "Not only do they present a tremendous feast of classical music, they are also an opportunity for our listeners to support the station with their generous contributions."
Each weekday during the marathon, WTJU will feature "The Piano Hour" from 11 a.m. to noon, delving into the works of a different artist each day. Each night, WTJU will air a symphonic work of Antonin Dvorák starting at 11 p.m.
The marathon will conclude Dec. 11 with a specially chosen performance of Handel's "Messiah" – another Classical Marathon tradition.
"Recent classical marathons have been fundraising record-breakers, and that's another tradition we'd like to continue," WTJU host Ralph Graves said.
Listeners can donate online at WTJU.net/donate, or by calling 434-924-3959 during the marathon. Donations are tax-deductible.
WTJU, an independent public radio station, presents original, rich and diverse programming of music and other forms of expression free from the direct constraints of commercial interests, reflecting the broadest educational goals of the University.