KBCS 91.3, have you heard?

By Alex Hartle.
Bellevue Community College’s best-kept secret lies housed in the shadow of its monstrous parking garage. KBCS, the institution’s own radio station, broadcasts at 91.3 FM from a modest building nestled in the northeast corner of campus. Each day, thousands of students pass the station in their daily rush to claim a parking spot, yet few are aware of its presence. What originally began with a sit-in staged in the college President’s office by a mere handful of BCC students, the station was officially founded in 1973 as a small student media center. KBCS can be heard today throughout the greater Seattle area. “Our goal is to provide outstanding radio to the community in a unique way” says Steve Ramsey, the station’s manager since 2000. “We train members of the community to do radio.” The independently programmed station provides an eclectic array of music. From jazz, soul and funk to medieval, electronic and all sorts of international music, KBCS brings the community a truly unique blend of aural offerings. When the hip-hop style is calling, check out Zulu Nation, which brings the best in local and national independent hip-hop artists every Saturday night from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m. with DJs Khazm, WD4D and Sean Malik. There is also a chance to catch up on your folksy style by tuning into 91.3 every Tuesday from 7-9 p.m. for Folk sounds with DJs Eric Hardee and Jean Geiger. Two hours of classic American folk. Further more, for a daily dose of afternoon folk music check out Lunch with Folks, weekdays from 12 p.m. — 3 p.m. Chill out after a hard Saturday night of partying with Night Owl Jazz, Sundays from 2-6 a.m. with DJ John Petri. Of course, KBCS is not only about music. Listeners can tune in for a wide variety of public affairs, talk programming, covering many topics that affect the community. If you’re feeling worldly, catch Daily Planet weekdays from 3-5 p.m. for your daily serving of international music and news. Listen in to Listen Up Northwest, a talk program covering relevant affairs throughout the Northwest, broadcasting every Monday at 2 p.m. To get a fresh perspective on the week’s current events check out CounterSpin, Tuesdays 6:30-7:00 p.m. for a close look on what’s happening in the world. A noncommercial radio station, KBCS is driven by the community. The DJs you hear on the air are volunteers, both Bellevue Community College students and otherwise. Since the late 1980’s, the station has had its doors open to any member of the community who wishes to donate their time, energy and talent. “KBCS recognizes its role as part of the regional music industry and acknowledges the need to further support underground and independent musicians.” said Sabrina Roach, the station’s development and outreach director. “This is a place where we can really support the local music community.” If you are looking to get your voice and musical selections heard, you can volunteer to be a DJ at KBCS. It is a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking for experience in broadcasting. In fact, KBCS is the only radio station in the Seattle area that offers an ongoing training program. Training for prospective volunteer DJs is offered quarterly and can be found in the BCC Continuing Education course catalog. In addition, free classes are offered every Wednesday evening from 7:30-9 p.m. at the station’s house four. The BCC student government recently assisted in the procurement of grants for the radio station. With this funding the station installed technology to broadcast in HD Radio. This monumental development has created new opportunity for the school. KBCS is offered online in streaming format from their website and through iTunes radio under the “Eclectic” category. iPhone and iPod Touch owners can also find KBCS as well as a wide variety of other public radio stations through the free application Public Radio Tuner. Programming guides, volunteer information and streaming audio are available on the KBCS website: http://www.kbcs.fm. Don’t miss out on all the hidden secrets of Bellevue College and get in touch.

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