WVTC Officially Over the Hill: The College Radio Station Celebrates its 50th

19 Apr 2017

Coming to you live from Vermont Tech’s Morey Hall in Randolph Center, WVTC is your local college radio station. You can listen to WVTC online thanks to a student-made automation program that shuffles music and automatically includes station identification. Although the randomization can seem like a ‘moody teenager’ when it plays Aqua’s Barbie Girl right after Van Halen, it is a very sophisticated algorithm that is frequently updated. The website employs tech called “WebDJ,” where listeners can visit the website and choose the songs that play over the air. This system was also created by Vermont Tech students in the mid-1990s, and, to their knowledge, is the only one of its kind in existence.

The station started in 1963 on AM 640 and in 1967 switched to FM and got the 90.7 frequency. It is now celebrating its 50th anniversary of playing the best tracks including top 40 hits, classic rock, old school rap, metal, alternative, and everything in between.

Meet the Crew

Zack Davis and Parker Robinson are two Vermont Tech students with a passion for radio, a passion that started when they attended Hartford High School together. Now, Zack is a Computer Information Technology major and WVTC’s Studio Production Manager. Parker is majoring in Electromechanical Engineering Technology and moonlights as the station’s main Engineer. Zack and Parker first met student Patrick Schlott, now the club’s faculty supervisor, during the Vermont Tech Accepted Students Day. Patrick introduced them to the radio club, and they have been involved since day one.

“Radio filled the void in our hearts.” Zack deadpanned.

There are only a couple regularly scheduled shows on WVTC, but they have no shortage of listeners. The station’s online platform has fans tuning in from three different continents. “We get plenty of calls from local Vermont listeners during various shows, but we’ve even gotten calls from California and Texas, so we know we get listeners out there.” Occasionally, the station runs into some challenges that stem from equipment age and a restrictive budget. Like any other college club, WVTC’s budget comes from the Student Council and the money usually goes to repairs and upgrades. Previous years saw improved switchboards and speakers. This year, Zack wants to update the degrading countertops and general audio and radio equipment.

Parker says that he welcomes these challenges, “Old equipment is part of the fun.” He says. “We can be limited by the equipment, but that’s part of the benefit of being a tech school is that we know how to fix it.”


Synchronizing Classroom Lessons with Passions

Parker’s engineering capstone project is to improve WVTC’s mobile radio transmission station. This will create a more portable way to transmit the radio signal when they aren’t in the studio. It will replace the current method, which can be clunky and a bit all over the place.

“We’re working to make it more deployable and ready to go.” Parker says, “The ability to bring the broadcast anywhere will be a huge benefit.” He imagines live coverage of baseball games and trips to other Vermont Tech campuses.

Special Event Announcement

Club members are encouraging all students and Vermont Tech employees to join WVTC on April 22nd for Vinylthon, a 24-hour marathon celebrating music in its purest form. If you have some vinyl that you would like to share you are invited to come down to Morey hall in Randolph Center and be a guest DJ for an hour or two. Reach out to WVTC on Facebook or visit them in the studio.

You can tune-in to WVTC on Wednesday nights at 9 PM when Dr. Blarney and DJ Davis bring you “Box of Chocolates” their radio show featuring the worst dad jokes ever, Chuck Berry tributes and everything in between. Parker enjoys playing an eclectic range of music from 80’s metal, to older country, and the Dropkick Murphy’s. Zack’s style is more rock, new and old. Pink Floyd and the Arctic Monkeys were among his top picks.

Here’s to another 50 years! Listen to us on the air at 90.7 FM or online at www.wvtc.net