We hope the arrival of Spring provides welcome relief following an unusually harsh Winter. We also hope that access to quality programming on Blue Lake Public Radio provided comfort during months of record cold temperatures and snow here in Michigan, and elsewhere.
Did you know access to locally-programmed, and hosted, Classical and Jazz stations like WBLU 88.9 & WBLV 90.3 is non-existent in nearly half of America’s 50 largest cities? Classical programming on commercial radio stations is unheard of today, and many public radio stations have changed their programming to News & Talk formats
In 2013, local Classical programming vanished on public stations in Houston and San Antonio. Listeners in both large markets abruptly discovered their local program hosts were replaced by non-recognizable voices hosting Classical programming beamed in from Minnesota.
And the number of Jazz stations in America, historically small to begin with, continues to diminish.
Blue Lake Public Radio is committed to continuing the quality programming you have relied upon for more than 30 years. Our hosts, Bonnie Bierma, Foley Schuler, Lazaro Vega, Steve Albert, and Greg Johnson collectively represent 107 years on the air with Blue Lake. You can count on us to be part of your day (regardless of the weather) for years to come.
This is all possible due to ongoing listener support, which is critical to sustaining our operation and represents by far our largest source of revenue.
At this time, we respectfully ask that you renew your annual support – or become
Please know your listenership to Blue Lake Public Radio, and financial support, are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Blue Lake Public Radio is a division of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, a 501-c-3
Blue Lake Public Radio’s unique blend of programming mandates our on-air hosts are personally well-versed in the fine arts through performance, and other means. We are proud to introduce you below to our Blue Lake Public Radio hosts – and we thank you for your listenership, and on-going support, of our stations.
As Station Manager, Steve is responsible for ensuring 100% of the programming content on Blue Lake Public Radio meets our discerning audience’s standards. His responsibilities also include hosting “A Michigan Saturday Night” from 8:00-9:00pm (immediately following Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion”), as well as sharing hosting duties with Greg Johnson for our Saturday 11:00am-1:00pm Classical program. Steve furthermore directs the “live” broadcasts of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp’s numerous faculty, staff, and professional performance concerts each Summer. The Kalamazoo native’s parents ensured Steve was well-versed in Opera, Classical, and Bluegrass. His particular love of Bluegrass led to becoming an accomplished banjo player, guitarist, singer, and founding member of the popular Oat Bran Boys Bluegrass Band. Steve says, “I absolutely love the fact that Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and within that, Blue Lake Public Radio, is all about the arts.”
Bonnie hosts Blue Lake Public Radio’s weekday 8:00am-12:00 noon Classical music, and Sunday 8:00-9:30am “Choral Traditions” programs. The Grand Rapids native earned a Music Education degree from the University of Michigan. Bonnie’s notable accomplishments as an Oboe player led to performing with the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra; teaching music in the Alpena Public Schools; and being a guest oboist for the Calvin College Oratorical Society, Civic Theatre, and area churches. She also performed with the West Michigan (formerly West Shore) Symphony, and teaches oboe lessons for children and adults. Her long-time association with the Grand Rapids Symphony included hosting its weekly broadcasts on Blue Lake Public Radio for twelve years, the highlight of which was a “live” concert from Carnegie Hall marking the Symphony’s 75th Anniversary. Bonnie says, “What we do at Blue Lake Public Radio is very important. Sharing great music, keeping our listeners actively connected to the arts by encouraging them to attend as many “live” performances as possible – these are just some of the reasons I love my job so much.”
Greg’s introduction to Classical music came from his parents’ cultural belief that every family must have one person who can play the piano, effectively leading to his Classical piano lessons. The melodies have lasted a lifetime. Following graduation from Alleghany College, Greg taught high school English, Speech, Drama & Spanish. While pursuing his Masters degree at Indianapolis University, he taught Freshman Composition and continued teaching on the college and high school levels the remainder of his career. Greg developed a listening passion for Blue Lake Public Radio thirty years ago. He serves as our Monday-Friday 6:30-8:00pm Classical host, and also shares hosting duties with Steve Albert for our Saturday 11:00am-1:00pm program. Greg oversees the daily station program logs, as well. He says, “Working at Blue Lake Public Radio means a shared commitment by Bonnie, Foley, Lazaro, Steve and me to produce the best programming possible for our passionate listeners each and every day.”
Encouraged by creative parents, Foley began his music career at age 7, studying violin with Jean Manning at North Muskegon Public Schools. As a Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp “camper,” he became Blue Lake Public Radio’s first high school intern. Foley earned an English Literature degree from Hope College, and Masters in Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the Warren Wilson College. He has performed with the West Michigan (formerly West Shore) Symphony; served on the English Department faculty at Muskegon Community College, and been the Music, Art & Theatre reviewer for the Muskegon Chronicle. Foley received the 2014 Charles H. Hackley Commendation for Services to the Humanities Award, and was also recognized for his contributions to the community with the 2011 Richard Charles Ford Award for Individual Service to the Arts & Humanities. He follows his love of the arts around the globe, but says, “There is no place like the Blue Lake setting, sharing extraordinary music with our listeners.” Foley hosts Blue Lake Public Radio’s weekday 1:00-5:00pm Classical Music, and Sunday 9:30am-1:00pm “Sunday on Blue Lake” programs.
During his teen years, Lazaro would usually find himself a minority in primarily African American audiences listening to “live” Jazz. At Michigan State University, the East Grand Rapids native became the Jazz writer for the State News. Later, Lazaro served as the Jazz columnist for the Grand Rapids Press and Muskegon Chronicle for twelve years. His articles have been published by the Jazz Institute of Chicago, and he’s authored liner notes for numerous Jazz performers’ albums, nationwide. Lazaro has additionally produced concerts for the West Michigan Jazz Society, served on the Great Artists & Music Committee at St. Cecilia Music Center, and hosted the Detroit Jazz Festival’s network Radio broadcast. Lazaro says, “Blue Lake Public Radio’s commitment to Jazz, and Jazz education, allows me to connect a large listening audience with great musicians who’ve expressed themselves in sound. How do you measure soul?” His programs on the Blue Lake stations include “Jazz from Blue Lake” (Monday-Friday 10:00pm-3:00am & Sunday 7:00-10:00pm), and “Jazz a la Carte” (Saturday 7:00-10:00am).
There's an App for That.
Blue Lake Public Radio now has apps for both the iPhone and the Android. You can now listen to your favorite programs by just clicking on the Blue Lake Radio icon. Go to the iPhone App Store or Android Market and search for Blue Lake Public Radio. It's FREE.
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About Blue Lake Public Radio
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp serves the West Michigan Community with its Public Radio Stations, WBLV-FM 90.3 in the Muskegon area and WBLU-FM 88.9 in Grand Rapids.
Thousands of listeners tune in for Classical Music and Jazz, along with National Public Radio's award winning news programs.
Check out our Online Program Guide or if you live in West Michigan or are planning a visit and would like a free hard copy of our "Listener" Program Guide, please call us at 231-894-5656. That's also the number to make a pledge and become a member. Or you can pledge on line. We'd love to welcome you to our radio family.