A Few Seconds and a Hundred Musicians

Oct 25, 2016

In January 2014, we invited the Boston Conservatory to collaborate on a vital project for any radio station: those tiny moments of music that say, "you're listening to WCRB!" We call them "sounders," and here's how they came together.

Our goal was to create a sonic identifier for the station, similar to the iconic WGBH "sting" you hear on all of the WGBH-produced TV shows seen on PBS stations across the country:

The plan took shape quickly with the help of Boston Conservatory faculty. In April, we challenged students at the conservatory to take that sting and base a theme on it that could be adapted for many groups of instruments - from a solo piano to a full orchestra, and everything in between.

After a couple of months of students writing and fine-tuning their submissions, and a couple of rounds of voting, there was a clear winner: the theme written by Paul Fake.

Other students from BoCo got to work, writing over 100 versions of the sounder, and in November 2014, Boston Conservatory musicians swarmed into our Fraser Performance Studio to record.

It may have a small footprint on the air, but every time we hear that little sounder, it's a reminder of the hundreds of people who came together, over the course of that year, to make it happen. Teamwork like this is what makes the Boston classical music scene thrive, and we're proud to be a part of it!

Read more from Boston Conservatory here.