Starting Monday you will hear a new regular voice on CapRadio Music. Jennifer Reason will be joining the team as a midday classical announcer, hosting live from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. during the week.
In addition to her hosting duties, Reason will assist Morning Host and Classical Content Coordinator Kevin Doherty in scheduling our classical music. She will also serve as the music department’s first-ever community liaison.
Previously a part-time fill-in host, Reason is a classically trained musician, music teacher, and a key member of three local nonprofit music organizations: RSVP, Citywater, and Rogue Music Project.
Before her first full day behind the mic, we spoke with Reason about what she hopes listeners will get from her show, how she hated piano as a kid (but couldn’t quit) and how she got a black belt in Taekwondo (but had to quit).
Tell us about your background
So I'm an alum of the Sac State music department. I got my piano degree here in 2007. And I'm really active in the music community, so I'm a full-time performer until coming here, which has been awesome. Piano, primarily, but I also have a couple of nonprofits and do a lot of directing.
My degree is Piano Performance. That's all classical, so my start was classical, but now I play pretty much everything, and you try to branch out as much as possible. Same with any singing and directing. I do a lot of musical theater, too.
How long have you been playing piano?
Since I was 4. My mom is a piano teacher so we were under duress. ‘As long as you're under my roof…’ Once I got my first gig, it was like, 'Oh, people will pay you for this, I see. Never mind, I like it.' So I was 12 the first time I got paid, and so that stopped the begging-to-quit fits.
What attracted you to this role at CapRadio?
Getting to talk about music every day. I try to tell people a lot of just interesting things about the music, or the composers, or the performers that maybe they didn't know. I hope they'll fall in love with all of the music, and come back again and again.
What does your performance background lend to hosting?
I'm first and foremost a performer. I think that's a special understanding. A lot of the pieces that come up are ones I've played at some point, so there's a lot of really cool things like, 'Yeah I went to Mozart's house in Vienna, I got to play Mozart.’ I can paint a picture or say imagine, this is actually what it looks like. You can imagine looking out this window and seeing this while you're writing this music.
What do you hope people come away with when they listen to you?
I think that there's a lot of music out there that people don't know that they like, because we have so many greats and so many standards that are so fantastic that I want to of course keep honoring those and keep enjoying those, but also just maybe broaden. There's so much good music out there.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I need to be outside. So I really, really like backpacking. They have a little team of musician backpackers. We go cool places. So we're going to climb Machu Picchu in a little bit, and we did the Tetons last year. We really go backcountry, and I love that.
I also got a black belt in Taekwondo, until my piano professor was like, ‘You will choose. You come in here with bloody knuckles one more time...' It came down to, I can play piano longer and be more satisfied my whole life, but I'm going to age out of this.