New Hampshire Public Radio and Highland Community Broadcasting are joining forces to provide a new option in classical music programming for Granite State listeners: ClassicalNH.
ClassicalNH, which launched on air and online (classicalnh.org) last month, is being broadcast by WCNH Concord 91.5 and WEVO Concord 89.1 HD-2 and on its website. The service is also accessible as an application on the iPhone and iPad, with another app for Android devices on the way, said Highland Community Broadcasting general manager Harry Kozlowski.
“The service really reflects our commitment to bring classical music to as many listeners as possible,” said Betsy Gardella, NHPR president and CEO.
Gardella went on to explain that a lot of listeners in the state listen to classical music at work and at home, and that a good amount of this tuning in happens online. She said what NHPR and Highland aim to do is increase access to the music of Mozart, Bach, Tchaikovsky and more for classical music lovers around the state, especially those who don’t receive the Concord signal.
As part of the partnership, Highland gets access to NHPR’s studio facilities and its satellite and receivers for ClassicalNH, and it receives NHPR underwriting. Highland provides the programming. Kozlowski, who has been the voice of WCNH 94.7 since its formation in 2004, will host the new service from NHPR’s Concord studio.
“We’ve always had a relationship from the very beginning,” Kozlowski said of Highland and NHPR. “NHPR helped [WCNH] get off the ground in 2004. … When Highland formed in 2000, our initial goal was to create a classical music service covering as much of New Hampshire as possible. So in a sense, now we’re in a network. If we’re successful on this level, I’d certainly like to see expanding the footprint through other markets.”
Gardella also describes the partnership as something that has been in the works for a while. When NHPR stopped broadcasting classical music in the winter of 2001, many of its classical music CDs went to Highland Community Broadcasting “in an effort to support them and classical music,” Gardella said. She and others at NHPR maintained connections with Kozlowski over the years and officially began talking about a formal partnership about a year ago, she said.
She thinks the new service is good news for the state as a whole.
“Harry has been broadcasting in the Concord area for a number of years, and we saw this as a way to use our megaphone,” Gardella said. “We have 173,000 weekly listeners at NHPR. For all of those people that have online access, they now have the opportunity to listen to the Concord [stations] even if they don’t get the signal. A large section of the state has no classical music option in radio; this gives them an in-state option.”
In addition to live streaming, for which there are four different format options, ClassicalNH’s website includes program information, schedules and playlists and an explanation of the technical details behind the service, including information about WCNH 91.5, which is a higher-powered version of WCNH 94.7 out of Bow with a greater coverage area, and WEVO Concord 89.1’s “HD-2” radio distinction.
“HD-2 is really new to a lot of people,” Kozlowski said. “WEVO has a digital signal along with [an] analog [signal]. It’s a main channel with two extra channels … and you can hear [ClassicalNH] on the secondary audio channel,” if you’re using an HD-capable radio, which can be purchased at stores like Best Buy or Walmart, he said.
Kozlowski, who called himself the caretaker of WCNH, hopes to add more voices to ClassicalNH as the service grows and matures.
“The [service] is at the very beginning of what it’s going to be,” he said. “A lot of refinements will be made over the weeks and months to come.”