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MSPR Airs ‘Sounds of Our Heritage’ Podcast

Morehead State University

A podcast produced by students and faculty at Morehead State's Kentucky Center for Traditional Music (KCTM) is being aired on Morehead State Public Radio (MSPR) 90.3 FM WMKY. 

Produced and hosted by KCTM students, KCTM Director Raymond McLain, and Instructor of Music and Archivist Jesse Wells, "Sounds of Our Heritage" is a weekly 15-minute profile of traditional Appalachian music (bluegrass, gospel, old-time, country,) songs, songwriters, musicians and performers. It contains original recordings, interviews and stories.  

McLain said the idea for the podcast came about due to the pandemic and the need for virtual learning. He said conducting band classes virtually was a challenge, so the idea came about to record each instrument's part separately, then mix them in production to create a song. McLain said Wells played a significant role in helping the students convert to performing virtually and recording digitally. 

"The students really stepped up and were very resourceful," McLain said. "They were recording on whatever equipment they had." 

Over the summer, McLain said KCTM received a donation that allowed them to purchase digital recording equipment for students to use to record remotely. Students worked to collect performances and interviews to create the podcasts. McLain said he approached MSPR General Manager Paul Hitchcock and Operations Director Greg Jenkins, and they agreed the podcast would be an excellent addition to MSPR's bluegrass programming. 

"MSPR does such a great job with their bluegrass and traditional music programming," McLain said. "I thought (the podcast) would be a good fit, and they did too." 

"We were very interested in showcasing KCTM, heritage of the music, performers and traditions. It's just a perfect fit for KCTM and MSPR to work together," said Hitchcock. "Our audience is always interested in KCTM. It's been well received and is an excellent showcase of the KCTM program, especially the students. MSPR is proud to offer this series to our listeners and look forward to expanding our partnership with the KCTM." 

McLain said producing the podcast and learning to be performers during the pandemic was a learning experience for students that they can carry with them long after they graduate. 

"Every great performer at one time or another has taken a hard knock in life and learned to overcome it," he said. "I think the students not only learned about digital performance and production; they also learned about the importance of having parallel career paths and parallel income."  

MSPR broadcasts the feature at 11:30 a.m. Saturdays during Bluegrass Railroad and at 11:30 a.m. Sundays during Bluegrass Sunday. After they air, the podcasts are archived on MSPR's website, http://www.wmky.org

For more information about MSPR, visit http://www.wmky.org or email Hitchcock at p.hitchc@moreheadstate.edu or call 606-783-2001. 

To learn more about KCTM, visit http://www.moreheadstate.edu/kctm or email kctm@moreheadstate.edu or call 606-783-9001.

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