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MIT has a radio station!? by ARTalk

[by Shelby Heinecke '13] Yes, it's true!

[by Shelby Heinecke ’13]

Yes, it’s true. Believe it or not, MIT has its very own radio station, run by the students for the students (and for the rest of Cambridge/Boston to enjoy!). It’s located in the cozy yet unfamiliar basement of Walker Memorial. It was one of the first places I visited during my CPW, and I encourage you all to visit it as well. Ever since I stepped foot in the station during CPW, I knew that I wanted to get involved with the radio station and have my very own show—and that’s precisely what I did!

My show is called “Peaceful Purgatory” and it airs on Tuesday nights from 11pm – midnight (sounds late, but this is prime psetting hour = more listeners). You’re probably wondering why my show has this name and where the heck it came from. You see, the name of my show conveys the unique combination of music I play; that is, hard rock/metal and classical music.

Here is a sample playlist:
“Quartet No. 1” by Sofia Gubaidulina
“Am I Evil?” by Metallica
“Children of the Grave” by Black Sabbath
“Violin Sonata No. 3” by Brahms
“Ciaconna in D Minor” by Bach
“Pathetic” by Lamb of God
“Achilles Last Stand” by Led Zeppelin

Hopefully you can see how the name of my show is relevant now! Not only do I play eclectic works, but I also give away concert tickets on air and sometimes I invite friends to chat on air or just to hang out in the control room with me. It’s great to be able to have this hour of airtime, an hour of freedom. I can play any songs or pieces I wish, the sky is the limit. My radio show is a highlight of my chaotic week—it’s a time where I’m forced to sit down, relax, and enjoy music. And you too can have a radio show at MIT. It’s as simple as applying for airtime and preferencing your ideal timeslots. There are also perks with having a radio show, such as having full access to the entire record library. That’s right, the ENTIRE library (think about the new music and artists you’ll be exposed to! I’ve discovered quite a few interesting bands since I’ve been a member at the station). Besides the library, you also have access to free concert tickets, definitely one of the coolest benefits. There are literally concerts in Boston/Cambridge everyday of the week, and you can potentially see these great artists for free. Feel free to listen to WMBR streaming live on The shows are also archived, so you can even listen to previously aired shows. Enjoy the great music of WMBR. Rock on!

P.S. Photos coming soon!

12 responses to “MIT has a radio station!?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    +first xD

  2. haha! pathetic too eh? i will be your loyal listner, if that is, i get into MIT. We too have a great radio programme precisly at 11 around here. treat! you should move on to jazz too hehehe.

  3. Samir says:

    Really cool mix of genres. Classics and rock are awesome wink

    P.S I hope I’ll have a pleasure of listening MIT radio the next 4 years…))

  4. Mei Z says:

    Cool taste in music Shelby! Zeppelin and Bach are some of my psetting faves!!

  5. Piper '12 says:

    Trivia – WMBR, the name of the station, expands to Walker Memorial Basement Radio. I believe it was the first college radio station in the US.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Peaceful purgatory is the best thing about my Tuesday night!

  7. jamesmgg says:

    That is awesome. That is awesome. <3 Bach!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Piper – Hate to be a stickler, but WMBR was far from the first college. That Honor goes to WHA at Univ. of Wisconsin in Madison, which pre-dates the ancestor of WMBR, the low-power station WMIT, by 32 years. (1914 vs. 1946) By some accounts WHA was the first radio station, period.

  9. Matto says:

    this sounds totally incredible

    i would play beirut and chopin all day. hahaha

  10. Shelby, if you’ve never heard of Apocalyptica, you might like them. Classically trained cellists (one of whom has/gave up a lifetime seat in the Helsinki Philharmonic orchestra) who turned to playing metal. Now they write their own songs, too–an interesting combination of classical and metal. I like your music choices smile If I get into MIT I will be a loyal follower of Peaceful Purgatory…Cheers!

  11. martin('14?) says:

    Awesome. I love your choices.

  12. Sharon Rubin says:

    My dad was the second ever general manager, program director, music director, and technical director of this radio station way back starting from 1967 until 1973 when he used to go to MIT. It’s pretty cool to read this and see how much music has evolved while still keeping its roots at the same time. It’s also cool to bond with my dad and talk about the old days haha.

    Oh and I totally agree with Matto, Beirut all the way! And maybe some Yeasayer, Belle and Sebastian, and whoever else.