Kate Hall ’19 brings music and history to the WMHC airwaves

BY ANISHA PAI '19

In her weekly radio show, “On This Day,” WMHC DJ Kate Hall ’19 takes listeners back in time, recounting major events (musical and otherwise) that happened on that date. Hall also serves as WMHC’s Specialty Program Director and hosts ‘Live @ 5!’ in the hour before her own show, which airs Saturdays from 6-8 p.m.

The Sept. 24 broadcast of “On This Day” began in 622 AD with the Prophet Mohammed finishing his Hejira in Mecca and ended in 2000 when Madonna began her two-week run at number one on the UK Albums chart with Music, her seventh number one album. Hall covered several artists, including Billy Joel, Weezer, AC/DC, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix and The Jackson 5.

“I’m a huge history nerd,” she said, swiveling from laptop to hanging mic in the WMHC studio on the 3rd floor of Blanchard. “I really like classic old bands like the Beatles, the Who, Nirvana and Dean Martin.”

She also tries to mix older bands with new era music by artists like Bibio and Andrew Bird.

In college, her father majored in history and her mother in art history. Meanwhile, Hall’s music background includes piano lessons in the second grade, a stint as a clarinet player and five years as an alto-2 in choir, the lowest a female voice can sing.

“I was around music all the time and that just kind of ebbed and flowed and here we are now,” she said, as Come Sail Away by Styx played in the background.

After joining WMHC, Hall realized how much she loved broadcasting. Majoring in psychology and minoring in Journalism, Media and Public Discourse, she said that someday she hopes to turn this into a career, but right now, Hall uses her radio show as a space to escape from the weekly stress of school work.

“I don’t try to bring a lot of my ‘intellectual self’ into the radio station, because I feel like the radio station is more of a creative outlet and I’m using a different part of my brain. I like the idea of coming in here and decompressing for the week,” Hall said.

Part of this stress-free space Hall creates for herself every Saturday is her open-door policy. She likes the radio station to be an inviting place where her friends can drop by and hang out while she hosts.

“It’s nice when friends are here and you get that other feedback that you don’t get when you’re just talking into a mic and broadcasting,” she said.

Naomi Brandt ’19 walked into the studio 15 minutes into Hall’s show and graded physics exams to the tune of Judy Garland’s “Zing Went the Strings of my Heart.”

“I try to come in here whenever she does [her show],” said Brandt. “She definitely, like me, enjoys the classics. She was raised on them.”

Hall cited "Pitch Perfect" as her main influence for joining WMHC. In the movie, Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick) interns at her school’s radio station.

“I just really liked the idea of being on the radio and playing your own music,” she said. “Listeners can come and go as they please.”

People can listen to WMHC’s broadcast from anywhere in the world via Mixlr.com.

Mount Holyoke News

Mount Holyoke News , Blanchard Campus Center, 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA, 01075