On-Air Hosts

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 to our Blue Lake Public Radio hosts, as well as some of the nationally-recognized hosts of the fine arts network programming we broadcast.  Thank you for your listenership and on-going support of the Blue Lake stations.    

Steve Albert

Steve AlbertSteve came to Blue Lake as an announcer in 1985, and became the Program Director in 1997. As Station Manager since 2012, Steve is responsible for the programming and technical operations of Blue Lake Public Radio. His on-air work includes hosting “A Michigan Saturday Night” from 8:00-9:00pm, as well as various classical music programs. Steve oversees Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp’s summer recordings and broadcasts. In his private time, Steve loves all types of music, and plays banjo in a couple local bluegrass groups.

Bonnie Bierma

Bonnie BiermaBonnie 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 to 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.”

Foley Schuler

Foley SchulerEncouraged 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.

Lazaro Vega

Lazaro VegaBlue Lake Public Radio’s “Jazz Director” Lazaro Vega started at Blue Lake in March of 1983, 8 months after Bob Hope spoke the first station I.D. ever heard on the air from Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. In 2018 Vega was nominated by JazzWeek.com as Programmer of the Year entailing The Bobby Jackson Award, which is voted on by people who promote jazz record airplay and keep Blue Lake in new releases. Also in 2018, Vega was interviewed for Ron Wynn’s column, “Giant Steps,” published by The Tennessee Jazz & Blues Society. Here’s the link: http://jazzblues.org/giant-steps-by-ron-wynn-junejuly-edition-part-ii/

New York Philharmonic Logo  Alec Baldwin

The New York Philharmonic This Week, the coast-to-coast broadcast (originated in 1930) of one of the most highly recognized symphony orchestras in the world, is heard on Blue Lake Public Radio every Friday from 8:00-10:00pm.

Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, and one of the oldest in the world. The Philharmonic has appeared in 63 countries on five continents, performing over 15,000 concerts. Since its inception, it has been the apex for composers, soloists and conductors, alike.

The roster of composers and conductors who have led the New York Philharmonic includes such historic figures as Antonín Dvořák, Gustav Mahler, Richard Strauss, Arturo Toscanini, Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein. In 2009, Alan Gilbert became the first native New Yorker to head the Philharmonic, and is among the youngest music directors in the orchestra's storied history.

Alec Baldwin has been the host of The New York Philharmonic This Week since 2009. His stage credits Prelude to a Kiss at the Circle Reparatory, earning him Obie Award; A Streetcar Named Desire, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award; and Macbeth at New York Shakespeare Festival. Mr. Baldwin has appeared in more than 40 films, including The Hunt for Red October, Glengarry Glen Ross, and It’s Complicated. For seven years he starred as Jack Donaghy opposite Tina Fey on NBC’s 30 Rock. For his portrayal, he received seven Screen Actors Guild Awards, three Golden Globes, the Television Critics Award, and two Emmy Awards as Best Actor in a Comedy Series. In 2011, he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mr. Baldwin donated $1 million to the New York Philharmonic in 2012 to honor Zarin Mehta, its outgoing president and executive director.

Exploring Music Bill McGlaughlin

Blue Lake Public Radio broadcasts Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin weekdays from 12:00-1:00pm.  

McGlaughlin has served as an educator; performer (trombonist with the Philadelphia Orchestra & Pittsburgh Symphony); conductor of the St. Paul (MN) Chamber Orchestra; and music director for orchestras in Eugene, Tucson, San Francisco, and Kansas City.

His long-running Radio program, Saint Paul Sunday, received the highest honor in broadcasting, the George Foster Peabody Award, in 1996.  In November 2002, the National Endowment for the Arts announced a special grant to fund the development of a new daily program: Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin. 

Exploring Music delves into a wide variety of topics in Classical music, and each five-program, one-week series has a single theme such as the music of dozens of composers, explorations of various cultures,  styles, forms, time periods, and numerous other topics and areas of exploration.

Bill McGlaughlin received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 from Fine Arts Radio International, which stated, "Exploring Music, with its weekly thematic concept, provides the Classical Radio listener with both in-depth education and compelling Radio listening, a balance that is rarely achieved."

Speaking about Exploring Music, McGlaughlin said, “I don't know any scientific proof that human beings must have music in their lives to flourish, but I've noticed that if we don't, there's an empty spot. With our programs we try each week to take you into a new area, hope to find that hollow spot, and nourish it.”

Met Opera House  Mary Jo Heath

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2016/2017 broadcasts air on Blue Lake Public Radio from 1:00-5:00pm each Saturday from December 10, 2016 through May 13, 2017.  Now in its 86th year, The Met’s hugely successful “live” Radio broadcast series, heard on over 600 stations worldwide, is the longest-running Classical music series in American broadcast history.

Since 1883, the Metropolitan Opera has been the vibrant home for the most creative and talented artists, including singers, conductors, composers, orchestra musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, dancers, and choreographers from around the world. 

Many great conductors have helped shape the Met, beginning with Wagner’s disciple, Anton Seidl, in the 1880s and 1890s, and Arturo Toscanini, who made his debut in 1908. There were two extraordinary seasons with both Toscanini and Gustav Mahler on the conducting roster.  James Levine made his debut in 1973, now celebrating his 43nd anniversary during the Met’s 2016-2017 season.

Perched on the top floor of the Metropolitan Opera House, Mary Jo Heath hosts the broadcasts.  She has been associated with the program for more than 30 years, and holds a Ph.D. in music from the Eastman School of Music. There is an intimacy that grows between Metropolitan Opera lovers and the announcers who help navigate convoluted plots, and teaching them to pronounce the names of renowned singers from around the globe.

Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz
10:00-11:00am Every Saturday

Marian McPartlandMarian McPartland was an English-born American     pianist, composer, and writer. She pursued classical piano studies in London, but to the dismay of her family, developed a love for American jazz, and musicians such as Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Mary Louis Williams, Teddy Wilson, and others.              

During World War II, Marian performed in Billy Mayerl’s Claviers, a four-piano vaudeville act, entertaining Allied troops throughout Europe.

In 1958, a black and white group portrait of 57 notable jazz musicians, including McPartland, was photographed outside a Harlem brownstone for Esquire magazine, which called it, “A Great Day in Harlem.”  The photo became a well-known image of New York's jazz musicians of the time. 

Her encyclopedic knowledge of jazz led National Public Radio (NPR) to launch Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz in 1978.  It became the longest-running cultural (jazz or otherwise) program in NPR history.  The format  featured McPartland at the keyboard with guest performers, usually pianists, but also singers, guitarists, and other musicians.  After Partland stepped down as host in 2011, Piano Jazz soonreturned in repeat broadcasts. 

Marian lived to be 95 years old, but her legacy continues with Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazzheard on Blue Lake Public Radio, and hundreds of other NPR stations every week.