Public radio listeners can hear six weekly episodes of the NPR quiz show “Says You,” starting June 14, taped in Syracuse thanks to the WRVO Stations at SUNY Oswego. Two of those episodes also feature the college’s Oswego Jazz Project.
The hour-long show airs in 116 markets—including noon on Saturdays and 11 a.m. Sundays on WRVO—to a cumulative audience of 460,000 listeners every week, said Matt Seubert, WRVO’s assistant general manager for development.
From time to time, “Says You” tapes two one-hour episodes per day from the road. The program produced six shows with tapings May 16, 17 and 18 in Syracuse. The May 15 program was taped at the Everson Museum, with the May 16 and 17 appearances at the Palace Theatre.
“Says You” bills itself as “a game of words and whimsy, bluff and bluster,” where panelists have to select the right definitions of words they’ve never heard and play other games where they generally “have fun with the English language,” Seubert explained.
“Each spring, WRVO endeavors to put on an event to have our listeners come together,” Seubert said. “We saw this as an opportunity to bring a show to town that is very popular with our listeners.”
That popularity became apparent when the first two days of tapings sold out faster than expected. WRVO and the producers of “Says You” decided to add a third appearance on Sunday, which also sold out. Seubert said that over the course of three days, about 1,800 people had an opportunity to enjoy the unique process of taping a radio show.
“Unlike most community arts and culture organizations, we don’t have as many opportunities to bring our audiences together,” Seubert said. “Often our interaction with our audience is one-way—they are listening to us. It’s nice to engage them in new ways.”
Headquartered in SUNY Oswego’s Penfield Library building, WRVO looks for ways to tie the college into its activities, so having the faculty-student Oswego Jazz Project perform one of the days was a natural fit, Seubert said. Robert Auler, the keyboardist and co-founder of OJP, found the experience enjoyable and beneficial.
“It was wonderful to have the national exposure, but it was also great to play those live performances in front of hundreds of people, many of them jazz fans already,” Auler said.
The lineup for the tapings consisted of faculty members Auler and saxophonist Trevor Jorgensen, 2007 Oswego alumnus Max McKee on bass and current student Nate Felty on drums. OJP performed segments about three minutes long as panelists pondered questions. They had an opportunity to showcase an original tune, “Not Impressed,” by Eric Schmitz, a faculty co-founder and drummer unavailable for the “Says You” gig.
The shows with the Oswego Jazz Project will air the weekends of July 12 and 19. The experience, like the success of the Oswego Jazz Project’s first two years, “exceeded expectations,” Auler said.
“The music is an integral part of the show,” Seubert noted. “What host Richard Sher wants is for the audience to feed off the music, feed off the panelists, and that’s what makes a great show.”
For more information on the WRVO Stations or its programming, visit www.wrvo.fm.
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(Posted: Jun 05, 2008)