Quick! Name Fresno Stateâ€™s campus radio station. If you couldnâ€™t remember 90.7 KFSR, you are not alone.
In fact, more than 93 percent of Fresno State students are unable to correctly identify either the call letters or the frequency of their campus radio station, according to a recent survey by the honors study program in the arts and humanities department.
But Matt Garcia, program director and disc jockey at KFSR, wants that to change.
He has planned an event-filled fall semester for Fresno State students in honor of KFSRâ€™s 25th Anniversary.
Starting this Thursday, KFSR will be sponsoring the first of several free monthly concert events, known as Evening Eclectic Sessions. These concerts will play live from The Bucket, formerly The Pub, starting at 7 p.m.
This monthâ€™s all-ages concert features indie folk sensation Abigail Nolte; the â€œGodfather of indie rock,â€ Malcolm Sosa; and the socially conscious hip-hop band, IBID.
â€œThese guys [IBID] normally wouldnâ€™t even tour in Fresno,” Garcia said. “They usually would only go to a big city.”
The event is part of KFSRâ€™s 25th anniversary promotional campaign, celebrating KFSRâ€™s first live broadcast on Oct. 31, 1982.
KFSR features a diverse format and plays a variety of music, including jazz, indie rock and local artists, that canâ€™t be heard on any other Fresno radio station.
A big turn-out at this event may even lure other prominent bands to perform on campus, and will in turn help raise studentsâ€™ awareness about their campus radio station, which traces its roots back to when the Fresno State campus was at its old location on McKinley, where Fresno City College now stands.
In the 1940s, students in the broadcasting department would perform live radio theater productions and â€œbroadcastâ€ them to other students via closed-circuit radio. Only students on campus were able to listen.
When the campus moved to its present day location, the department adopted the call letters of a real radio station, KFSR, which stood for Fresno State Radio, but the broadcast was still limited to the campus. Years later, in 1982, a grant by the Associated Students finally opened the airways for KFSR to begin a genuine broadcast on FM radio.
Tamara Williams, a junior, hasnâ€™t really heard of the campus radio station and is unaware of the upcoming concerts. But she is excited about the prospects of different musical acts appearing live on campus.
â€œI am really thinking about checking out the show,â€ Williams said, especially since she normally has to travel out of the area for concerts. â€œI totally love the idea of concerts here on campus.â€
Not only will students be able to enjoy a free concert this Thursday, they will also be able to enter drawings for free prizes including CDs and KFSR merchandise. Another unique aspect of this concert series is that KFSR has arranged a 10-minute question and answer session with the musicians after their performances, and all audience members are encouraged to participate.
Garcia is really excited about the upcoming fall promotional concerts and hopes students will attend the show.
â€œThere are over 22,000 students attending this school, and I want to challenge them to step outside their comfort zone, to take time to explore campus life, what the campus has to offer,â€ Garcia said. â€œThere are many forms of entertainment available, try something different. Take that chance.â€
Williams is taking that advice, saying now that sheâ€™s heard about the event and the radio station, sheâ€™s â€œgoing to expand [her] horizonsâ€ to listen to KFSR in addition to letting her friends know about the concerts.
90.7 FM KFSR
KFSR is a non-commercial public radio station operated by Fresno State.
â€¢ KFSR transmits popular music as well as arts and public affairs programming, among other programs.
â€¢ For more information about KFSR, the indie concert or future events, visit KFSR’s Web site at www.kfsr.org, or tune into the station at 90.7 FM radio.
For more information on the “Godfather of indie rock,” Malcolm Sosa, check out the Features section.