Dr. Alan Journet is a biology professor at Southeast Missouri and has just celebrated the 25th year as the host of his classical music themed radio show on KRCU.
(View a larger image of Dr. Journet.)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 7, 2006 — Growing up in England, Dr. Alan Journet picked up a passion for classical music. Between the BBC and his father’s passion, he had no choice.
He spent his childhood cutting his teeth on old 78s, and his college years were spent in Montreal classical music halls. Despite a life-long love of classical music, Journet seems slightly surprised that he celebrated his 25th anniversary with Southeast Missouri State University’s public radio station, KRCU 90.9FM, last week.
Journet, a biology professor at Southeast, said his program isn’t exactly like “Friends” in popularity, but over the years he has still picked up quite a following.
“I like when people remark that they recognize my voice,” Journet said.
The main point, he stresses though, is not name recognition, but the opportunity to expose people to classical music.
Journet’s path to the show started with the butchering of classical music pronunciations. At the time, KRCU was broadcast out of Academic Hall dome by radio majors picking up lab time. The only classical music show was a Monday through Friday two-hour program called “Concert Hall.”
“It was obvious the students weren’t into it,” Journet said. “They would mispronounce the names of composers and works, and records would skip for long periods of time. They just weren’t into the music.”
Journet was, however. His remarks to Herb Taylor, station manager at the time, about the student’s lack of interest, turned into Journet and his own record collection hosting “Concert Hall.”
Twenty-five years later, he is still spinning his own records, and exposing KRCU fans to classical music. He has kept plying through station location moves – KRCU no longer broadcasts from the dome — and a bout with leukemia.
Sometimes, Journet said, he can get busy and it can get to be a chore, but he just reminds himself how much he enjoys doing the show.
“I enjoy the music and getting to pick out what is played for each show,” Journet said.
His show is now called “Musical Meander” after several name changes, but the format is basically the same. Journet spins his massive classical music collectionᾰhe and his wife have spent years accumulating itᾰand talks to other experts on classical music. Brandon Christensen, the concert series “Sundays at Three,” is a frequent guest, and shared the mic on Journet’s anniversary show.
To mark the anniversary, Journet played a selection he played on the very first show like he does every anniversary show. This anniversary the selection was Handel’s “Theme and Variations.” On the first program Journet played a vinyl version with Temple Painter at the harpsichord, but on the 25th Anniversary programᾰkeeping up with technologyᾰit will be a CD version with Julius Katchen at the piano.
Twenty-five years isn’t the end for Journet. He is excited about the new signal tower that has just gone up in Farmington, Mo., which will increase the KRCU signal into the St. Louis area. KSEF, which is expected to go on the air later this spring – will be the new repeater station for KRCU.
Although there is already a public radio station in St. Louis, Journet says their format is more talk centered.
“Ours is more geared towards music,” he says, so he sees no problem in the stations co-existing.
With KSEF – Southeast in Farmington, Journet’s voice may soon be readily recognized on the street in St. Louis.