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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Sharing Controversial Music Through WRCU’s ‘Music Your Grandparents Wouldn’t Listen To’


Before joining WRCU, Colgate University’s student-operated radio station, sophomore Sarah Salzman had no experience on radio shows. The WRCU team offered Salzman a unique opportunity to try something new and become involved with the Colgate and Hamilton communities. 

“I’d never been a part of a music-loving community before coming to college,” Salzman said. 

Salzman has had a new WRCU show each semester she’s been at Colgate and enjoys exploring different genres through various radio shows. Salzman first learned about WRCU on her campus tour during her initial visit.

“I’ve always loved playing music, and I remember as a junior in high school, my Colgate tour guide showed me the radio station,” Salzman said. “I knew then that I wanted to be involved in college radio, wherever I got into [college]. When I came to Colgate, I was eager to apply for a radio show as a first-year.”

Salzman’s first radio show was called “ACE Records” in honor of her uncle, who passed away from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2021. She explained how the radio show helped her and her listeners to overcome feelings of grief in a comforting environment. 

“I played music from [my uncle’s] record collection while discussing how people can use music to help process their emotions and share how people live on through music. That show was deeply reflective and therapeutic,” Salzman said. 

Salzman explained that a well-done radio show requires extensive brainstorming, preparation, research and note-taking to effectively and creatively communicate with listeners. 

“It can be challenging to pick a topic for a show, but the reward is the best part,” Salzman said. “My favorite part is when I’m live on air and can share interesting stories and create a cohesive show through my commentary.”

Salzman noted that she learned a number of important life skills from her experience creating her shows, including communication, music curation, public speaking and storytelling. Through her shows in previous semesters, she discovered that she loves sharing engaging stories and music history with her audience.

Her current show, called “Music Your Grandparents Wouldn’t Listen To,” combines all she has learned about music history and storytelling. Each week, Salzman shares a different controversial genre or theme within music, such as “Satanic panic” or politically-charged songs. 

“The show challenges listeners to reconsider their perceptions of music through curated playlists and interesting discussions. My most recent show was about the infamous Woodstock ’99 festival, and I spoke about its chaotic atmosphere, reports of violence, inadequate facilities and overall mismanagement,” Salzman said.

Salzman elaborated on her excitement toward her show and explained how it allows her to discuss how music has shaped her identity while delving into music history in a creative way.

“In my current show, I get to be creative and share a different piece of music history. The music I listen to has always helped me define myself and others, so it’s interesting to talk about that while incorporating music history with a story behind it,” Salzman said.

Salzman’s passion and dedication to music and music history have shined through in her show, and she explained that these two qualities are essential for becoming a part of the WRCU team. 

“Passion for a topic will undoubtedly show through your application,” Salzman said. “My other piece of advice is to be confident. Whether that takes writing out notes or doing a lot of prior research, confidence builds a great show.” 

“Music Your Grandparents Wouldn’t Listen To” airs on Fridays from 11 a.m. to noon on WRCU 90.1 FM.

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