Goshen News, Goshen, IN

November 15, 2013

The Globe points the way

Goshen News

---- — Talk to people regionally who take their music listening seriously, and you’ll likely end up having a conversation about The Globe. People who know, know. People who don’t know, are usually pleasantly surprised and grateful once they do know.

That’s the power of The Globe, otherwise known as WGCS and living happily on the FM dial at 91.1. It is run by students and staff at Goshen College and has been beaming a signal from our city’s south side since 1958.

For most of its existence, the WGCS format was focused on classical music and college-centered programing. But when GC alum and former WGCS student station manager Jason Samuel returned to campus as the station’s faculty general manager in 2003, The Globe soon followed. A simple change in format opened up a world of possibility. With The Globe, classical music gave way to Americana, Rock-a-billy, classic and contemporary crooners and progressive pop. While it will never be confused with Dylan plugging in at Newport, the cultural spark the WGCS format change created locally is undeniable.

OVER THE PAST DECADE the The Globe has solidified itself as one of the top college radio stations in the nation, earning the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System’s top honor of “Best College Radio Station in the Nation,” two out of the past three years. This past weekend The Globe staff was awarded the distinction of “Station of the Year,” in its market category — South Bend, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Lafayette, Muncie and Terre Haute — by the Indiana Broadcasters Association. That includes all stations, not just college stations. Color us impressed, but not surprised.

WGCS is no longer confined to a campus cocoon. It is a community force and the region as a whole is the better for it. If you don’t believe us, spend a day listening. If you live out of town, check it out on globeradio.org. You won’t regret it.

“At (The Globe), you have a station that’s a living laboratory and a learning environment,” Samuel said in an article published in The Goshen News Wednesday. “But we also serve the community with a distinct, professional voice, and play music along the way.”

YES THEY DO, and good music that you won’t find anywhere else on local radio. During the nine o’clock morning hour on Thursday, listeners of The Globe were treated to the Wheeler Brothers, Marc Scibilia and Will Hoge. Because of The Globe (and certainly the profound efforts of Steve Martin at Ignition Garage in downtown Goshen) Scibilia and Hoge have been lured up from Nashville to perform in The Maple City. Goshen has finally developed a reputation beyond that of a former cruising mecca.

Awards are great and the Globe deserves every one it gets. But it is nuanced results that tell the true backstory. And the story of The Globe has steadily become one of the most important narratives in the cultural progression of Goshen. It is the voice and the symbol of just how far we’ve come.