Sarah Frederick / Equinox Staff

Behind the large windows and paintsplattered doors of the WKNH studio lies a host of students-turned-DJs looking to share their love for music and gain experience in radio broadcasting.

For some, it may be their first time donning the headset. For others, like junior Trevor Adams and sophomore Ryan Stone, the studio has become something of a sanctuary to them. Adams, known as “DJ Blue” to WKNH listeners, has been hosting his show, “The Book,” for well over a year. Adams’ show is filled with jazz selections that can be heard every Saturday from 1-2 p.m.

Stone, known as “DJ Stone” to WKNH listeners, has been hosting her show, “The Junk Drawer,” for over five months, running from 2-4 p.m. every Friday. She described the show as “just a bunch of random music, influenced by the junk drawer that everyone has at their homes…there’s no real flow to it, whatever I’m feeling I’ll just put in there.”

With diverging music tastes between the two, Stone and Adams often find themselves going through different avenues to find and choose music for their programs.

Stone cites the stipulation of non-explicit music to be an obstacle at times, as well as curating selections in a way that “makes sense,” though she says her broad music taste enables her to find songs with some ease.

Adams said he sometimes picks music up through a class he takes. “I’m currently enrolled in the Jazz Combos class…every now and then a song will be called that we play, and usually I try to throw that on my show,” he said. If he really struggles to find selections, he’ll refer to the book of songs from his class, which is where the namesake for his show originated. “There is an actual book of jazz tunes we use in the class, and if I really can’t find anything I will just flip through the book,” he said.

Something that both Adams and Stone said they indulge in at times is repeat-plays, though they try to avoid the practice most of the time.

When it comes to the level of creative control allowed for DJs, Adams said that outside of a small number of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and WKNH regulations, students are allowed to conduct their show however they desire. “As long as the music you’re running is clean and as long as you keep your speech and presentation clean as well, then the world is your oyster,” he explained.

Though Adams and Stone both currently occupy spots on the station’s e-board, they each vividly remember their first time on-air.

Adams mentioned that, traditionally, a member of the e-board will ‘sit-in’ during someone’s first broadcast, but still noted that going on-air wasn’t easy at first. “It was definitely nerve-racking because, well, you’re talking on air. Even if there aren’t too many people actually listening, it’s still a bit of a scary experience, but the only way to get better at it is to keep showing up and keep doing it,” he said.

Stone said that a large part of her anxiety with broadcasting at first came from speaking on-air. “I have a hard time talking on-air, and keeping my sentences coherent,” she said. “It’s scary at first because there’s so much that you need to do, but once you get it done… you can kind of just sit back, talk when you need to, play PSAs when you need to, once you start doing it more and more you get more comfortable.”

After getting into the routine of weekly shows, Adams and Stone both fell in love with the studio. “Radio is the one thing that really keeps me going at Keene State,” Stone said. “It’s that kind of personal connection between the DJ and the listeners that you don’t get when you’re just listening to an album.”

“We have big speakers in there and you can just crank them up and just listen to the music while it’s playing and it’s just the most cathartic [experience],” she added.

Adams said, “People know that whatever you’re playing, there’s a lot of intention behind it…it’s all about just expressing yourself on air.”

Nathan Hope can be contacted at

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