Director Spotlight: Stevana Simmons

Two score and some years ago, beamed straight from heaven to Oklahoma City, KWTS Program Director Stevana Simmons made her debut.Stevie 1

Often referred to as just “Stevie”, Stevana spent the greater portion of her life living in various parts of the American Southwest as a full-time military kid and part-time hell-raiser. Now reformed, Stevana spends most of her time in the Fine Arts Complex at West Texas A&M University skipping class to work in the station.

A sneaker enthusiast, prospective content creator, snack connoisseur and devotee of all things Rhythm & Blues, Stevana hopes to one day lay claim to a career within the large scope that is the communications field. Not particular in practice but driven in fervor. Being afforded the many opportunities at WT and the amazing people she gets to work with, along with the friendly faces she sees in passing, Stevana aims to one day do for KWTS the One 91.1 and the WT Media Communications Department as much as they have done for her. BO GUFFS!

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Trash Day!!!

For over 25 years, KWTS The One 91.1 has done something that seems odd for a radio station to do. Twice a semester, us DJs and directors don orange vests and carry trash bags up and down a strip of road. Just down for Hil’s Burgers, south of Canyon High School, and a little ways past Norman Bates’ place lays a rest area followed by a mile of highway KWTS adopted quite some time ago.hwy

Beer cans, take out containers, random pieces of plastic and other junk is bagged and tagged by us. We do our best to pick up the Home and make Mother Nature again. Typically, we make a contest out of who can find the most interesting piece of trash – urinal cakes, animal bones, part of a Port-o-Potty, and a half-submerged-in-mud bicycle are just a few of the gross goodies that await us.

We do this for several reasons. To be honest, it’s part of being in the KWTS Practicum class. But we make it known to new students why we go out there and pick up

garbage. The community supports us, listens to us, donates to our cause whether it is scholarships, underwriting, food or drinks for meetings, or anything else. And this isn’t just for KWTS, the community give to the entire school. Canyon has been the home of WT for over a century. The town has given us a warm, nurturing environment to grow in. We appreciate the generosity. The least we could do is pick up our room.

One of our own, the talented Chase Brady, made this video of highway cleanup:

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Director Spotlight Series: Anna

Today we look at another veteran of the KWTS program. Her favorite Beatle is George Harrison and her favorite color is green. You might know her as Anna, Parsons, Katscratch, or daughter of a guy that used to be in a band and painted a guitar for David Gilmour.  Today she’s known as the General Manager of KWTS The One 91.1. To understand the enigma that is Anna Parsons, we need to go to where it all began.

Born in Hereford, TX, Anna was raised in an art and musically inclined home. It doesn’t stop there; she also comes from a very culturally rich background. A grandfather from Arkansas introduced music from Johnny Cash, The Carter Family, Hank Williams and Johnny Horton. Grandmother and Grandparents from Mexico helped carve hispanic heritage into her life. She also grew up with a family of only brothers to top it all off. As a first generation student, she didn’t know what to expect when it came to college.

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WT was somewhere close to home. She was declared an undecided major for a short time being that she jumped into college quickly. Soon she followed her love for the arts and became a Graphic Design major. This was and still is a topic she loves and a straight arrow towards creativity, but there was something missing. Her best friend, Alyssa, was a Mass Comm major and that’s how she ended up spending most of her time in the Fine Arts Complex. Everyone knew each other and it was such a welcoming environment.

Slowly she become involved in KWTS. It started with volunteering on the KWTS music team, then starting a special show, and finally changing her major to Digital Media and Communications. The Super Nintenduo was the brainchild of Wolfbite, and Anna took a seat as the co-host known as Katscratch. This video game show was broadcast on-air, then moved to podcast, and finally has moved to the stages of a YouTube channel. Along with the Super Nintenduo, Anna became Music Director of KWTS and managed Top 21/Behind the Mic. She moved up to become the Program Director of the station. Finally, she now sits as the General Manager of the One 91.1.

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It doesn’t stop there, she’s also involved in the National Broadcasting Society and Maroon Productions. There are so many things provided at WT and the station that continue to prepare Anna for her future career. Graduation is just around the corner for Anna. She’d love nothing more than to travel everywhere and work with video, live concerts, or just recording stories of everyone she meets. Whenever she’s home, she loves to spend time with her family and four dogs. A growing vinyl collection lives in her room, as well as an assortment of knick-knacks. There’s also the chance she’ll come back for her medical degree, but we’ll leave that up to fate.

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The Malt Shop

Here on KWTS we pride ourselves with a lot, one of those things being diverse in our music. Granted, we have our standard, college rock format. But, we also allow students to manage their own special shows,pick their music, be extremely creative with production, and just have some fun.

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A new show to the line up, The Malt Shop, is a breath of vintage air to our music library. Dakota Kessler, or DJ D-K Rock, is the host of this show. He picked the genre of the 40s, 50s, and 60s, because he grew up listening to those decades. Thanks to his dad and grandfather, Dakota was influenced by the sounds of Elvis, The Crests, The Chordettes, and Ray Charles (just to name a few). On his show, he highlights an artist every week. He also holds a trivia contest with prizes pertaining to the music and artists.

Dakota finds the music extremely enjoyable – it puts him in a feel good mood even if things throughout his day hit the fan.  Just load in some golden oldies, and he is definitely happier.

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Aside from The Malt Shop, Dakota is working on his bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. He also loves to collect records (1st pressings (preferably) and read comic books.

Tune in to KWTS 91.1 FM every Wednesday night 10 to midnight to hear DJ D-K Rock play the best from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. You can also live stream using the WT Mobile App (Open, swipe left, and click ‘The One’ icon) or head to http://www.wtamu.edu/kwts. DJ D-K Rock

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Sharing the Air

KWTS: broadcasting to 9 counties, 24/7, 365 days, and always bringing in a new round of on-air DJ’s and many special shows. We never shy away from showing the ropes to the new generation of our station. There’s heart, personality, diversity, and a bundle of nerves awaiting each student as they crack the mic. Each semester we welcome our new radio personnel as they don over-the-ear headphones and create a catchy DJ name.

For those who are too shy for camera, radio is the way to go. Starting September 10, our new round of DJ’s prepared for their shift and first time broadcasting live to our loyal listeners. It’s always nerve-racking experience. Because what do you expect from 6,000 watts of power? Returning students lead the way and showed them the do’s, don’ts, and the discovery of sharing the experience that is The One 91.1.

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We all recall the many stories of our very own meeting their best friends, future partner, or appreciation of radio through KWTS. That’s just it though, everyone walks through this journey learning something different. Whether it’s a preference for video, learning what your voice actually sounds like, or the motivation to learn more about the day-to-day life of a radio station, The One never strays away from the creative or those who want to dig in.

Girls’ Night In and The Malt Shop are a couple of new special shows joining us this semester. Pop Punk Past Time, The Power Block, Unsportsmanlike Conduct, and Psychotic Reaction continue on through last year. These special show DJ’s started off as rookies learning the faders and assignments like everyone else. They are the leaders and mentors for the a small college radio generation. About 1% of all people get this amazing opportunity to broadcast live. KWTS is more than thankful to contribute that small number.

It’s a once in a lifetime chance, growing experience, and great creative outlet. KWTS provides students with a crash course and hands on experience of FM radio. From creating production, reviewing music, calling live games, or generating social media content, the options are endless and unlimited. Everyone is set up to succeed. We might be located in little ol’ Canyon, TX, but there’s pure heart and dedication surrounding our station. So, to those new DJ’s fumbling their way through each jock break we encourage you not to be afraid of failing. Turn up that mic, lower that music bed, and try, try, try again.

 

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Director Spotlight Series: The Great Dane

One thing that sets KWTS The One 91.1 FM apart from other college radio stations is the fact we are student-run and student-produced. From the music selected to go on-air, to the production pieces played throughout, and even the management side of things, all of these positions are filled by students. Paid students, in fact. Yes, we get a paycheck to learn real life experience, and not just radio stuff. It goes deeper than that, such as building leadership and teamwork abilities, sharpening software skills, and creating Danein which only college can do.

One of our own, Dane Glenn, has done just that. Four years and some change ago he entered the Media Comm program, a runaway from the English department. At about his senior year there, he decided he couldn’t explicate any more Shakespeare. He wanted to crack open another Chaucer or Austen novel for entertainment, not for homework. Also, movies.

Yes, Dane wanted to learn the cinematic craft that can be art and crap. Since he could remember, the best, most endearing and thoughtful babysitter he had ever had was Television. Sometimes its friend VCR would come over as well. Here Dane escaped, learned, laughed, cried, and ultimately, was entertained. So it was only natural he end up in the Media Comm department; a risky move considering all his earned English credits, but at the heart of every great on-screen story, there must be a well-written script. Guess that money spent on those past courses wasn’t wasted after all.

8 Bit BoomboxDane moved up quick in KWTS (not to mention the department). Yes, he started out as a student in KWTS Practicum, doing his 2 hour shift a week just like everyone else. Later, he started his own special show, The 8 Bit Boombox, an homage to the greatest decade ever, the 80s. Soon after he got the position as Program Director (an idea he jumped at last minute because he was uncertain he had the time or the courage to take the job). Since, he has been a part of the National Broadcasting Society, Maroon Productions (on-campus, student-produced media group), co-hosted a morning show (The Black Tie Affair), co-hosted an award-winning podcast (Director’s Cut), and graduated somewhere in that mess.

Now, he is in his last year of graduate school, running KWTS under the title of Operations Manager. This semester marks his 5th go round to teach KWTS Practicum, and his first to teach Basic Video. He has been a GA to pretty much whoever needs one, including Professor of Broadcasting, Randy Ray, and the Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Humanities, Dr. Jessica Mallard. At some point he should say “no”, but without all those “yes’s”, he wouldn’t be where he is today.

Dane has two kids, a teenage daughter and toFamddler son. He cherishes the hell out of his kids and they are a driving factor for his future career. One day he will marry his love, Jordan Gerber, who has been nothing short of the cornerstone of his life. When he is not doing homework, grading papers, critiquing videos, running the radio station, or working on his thesis, he likes to hang out with his family, mainly parks and the Discovery Center. For him time though, he enjoys the lost art of reading, playing video games, and catching up on the latest Netflix series or watching any film (no rom-coms though). He enjoys a cold-craft beer, a thick cigar, and a well-deserved golden moment to ignore life. But he does love his jobs, and as far as his college career and future career goes, it wouldn’t have happened had he not enrolled in KWTS.

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Chalk it up a Little

Chalk.

Noun. A soft white limestone formed from the skeletal remains of sea creatures. Available in a plethora of colors, shapes, and sizes.

Verb. To draw or write with chalk. Or get a pool cue ready for that epic bounce shot. Used for art or graffiti, depending on your view.

Adjective. Used as a reference to describe the texture of food and beverages.

Chalk.

Teachers once used it. The blackboard that was dark green. Banging erasers together as punishment for either skipping class or pushing Filbert Hockney out of the water fountain line.

Chalk.

It expresses, describes, remedies, and prescribes. You could draw a hopscotch course until the chalk is a nub between your fingers. You could write “I will not use Wikipedia as a credited resource” until your arm is as tight as string cheese. You could draw an amazing 3D ground mural and have all of New York over stuff Instagram with your artistic abilities. Or you could eat it, because, you know, people are weird.

Chalk.

For us here at KWTS, it has become a tradition. At the beginning of the semester we gather ‘round the pedestrian highway between the Classroom Center, Mary Moody Northen Hall, and the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts building. This all sounds like a mouthful, but the causeway in which we etch is well traversed, and most importantly, well seen.

Some of our new students from the KWTS practicum class as well as our student directors poured out onto the January concrete and colored their little radio-infused hearts out. DJs, rookies and veterans alike, articulated their names in personalized, rainbow text. Special Shows, those geared toward a specific genre (classic rock, punk, heavy metal), showed up to promote their own brand of music excellence. Yes, it’s a fun, simple, and extremely inexpensive way to endorse you. If you have the chalk, the time, and most importantly the space, you could make you glitter and shine in all that grainy and gritty dyed glory.

Yet, as we sit here rambling on in typed word, we could just show you what we mean. Yes, we have pictures, but not just the still kind. This is the new trend called Motion Pictures. In today’s vernacular: video. We have quite a few up-and-coming talents, those savvy in shoot-and-edit lingo and a palette for fresh, chic, and mind-blowing. These words do little justice, so we shall hush our blog-heavy mouths and let you experience what they have to offer. Enjoy!

 

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#ThisDayinMusicHistory -1985 - "Take on Me" hit #1 on the US charts, making A-ha the first Norwegian group to do so. The iconic video combined live-action w/ rotoscoping (pencil-sketch animation) #kwts #80s #wtamu #takeonme #musicvideos Here's the single: http://ow.ly/8Rhw50jdUP8
#TBT - NBS Nationals - Early 2000s Good luck to our students attending NBS Regionals in Houston! #kwts #collegeradio #wtamu #nbs
Are you ready for the next Live Lounge? Retrospection is our next live artist! They're a local alternative rock band from Amarillo, TX. Check them out at @retrospection47 'Retrospection is an entity seeking to connect, to inspire, to transcend, to discover, to heal, to solve, to motivate towards greater.' Join us on October 24th at 6 p.m. at our KWTS Lobby or Listen Live through our WT Mobile App or http://wtamu.edu/kwts #kwts #retrospection #livelounge #wt #collegeradio
#ThisDayinMusicHistory - 1987 - The Bee Gees single "You Win Again" went to No.1 on the UK singles chart, making them the only group to have a UK No.1 single in three different decades - the 60s, 70s & 80s. This would mark their last No.1. #kwts #stayinalive #pop #disco
#ThisDayinMusicHistory - 1972 - Creedence Clearwater Revival calls it quits. Despite CCR's success and induction into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, they never had a #1 hit on the US charts. You don't need to be at the top to make an impact. #kwts #classicrock #wtamu #truestory
#ThisDayinMusicHistory -1966 - The Four Tops hit No.1 on the US singles chart with "Reach Out And I'll Be There". The group's second US No.1 and their first No.1 in the UK. #wtamu #kwts #motown #goldenoldies Here's the single: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bnih1-VX74M
#ThisDayInMusicHistory - 1974 - The Bay City Rollers debut album 'Rollin' was No.1 on the UK album charts. The album included three British chart hits 'Remember', 'Shang-a-Lang', 'Summerlove Sensation' and the debut of 'Saturday Night'. #TheBayCityRollers #GlamRock #kwts #Rollin "Saturday Night" - Bay City Rollers http://ow.ly/olJl50jiHzW
#TBT - KWTS 2004 Staff #kwts #collegeradio #wtamu
#ThisDayInMuiscHistory - 1970 - Black Sabbath were at No.1 on the UK chart (No.12 on the US chart) with their second album 'Paranoid.' The album features some of the band's well-known songs, including 'Iron Man' and 'Paranoid'. #BlackSabbath #Paranoid #kwts #heavymetal http://ow.ly/RiCh50jiFFX
Tonight on Girls Night In, from 7-9pm, DJ Zelda will be playing nothing but Taylor Swift. She recently had the chance to attend the Reputation tour. Tune in to hear all the details! #kwts #girlsnightin #girlpower #collegeradio #wtamu