Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

RME reaches out through the air waves

Quad Cities residents took a break from their traditional nightly Christmas radio carols to tune into 90.3 WVIK, as a new program at River Music Experience in Davenport began to air. On Dec. 13 at 8 p.m., Ellis Kell, local director of programming and community outreach at RME, played an hour of songs from their collection, ranging from genres such as roots, blues, folk and just simple rock.
RME, according to Kell, was opened in June 2004 as one of the seven parts of the Iowa’s River Renaissance. It was intended to capitalize on “the tremendous energy and beauty of the Mississippi riverfront,” Kell said.
“The RME is an exciting destination that explores the contributions of the people, communities, and traditions that have given vitality and life to our society through music,” Kell said.
Senior Ethan Halsall  is happy that RME finally has air time on the radio.
“It’s mostly acoustic and group based folk, and they include local venues and acts,” Halsall said. “It really brings music to the Quad Cities which I really like. It’s a necessity to the community.”
Not only does it include small time groups, but the show will also host music from guitar legends such as Leon Russell and Eric Clapton.
Sophomore Sam Dunklau, being an avid music fan, shares the same opinion as Halsall.
“I personally think its an excellent way to publicize their presence and mission in a new way to new groups of people,” Dunklau said.
RME started airing on WVIK in October of this year.
“It all started a couple years ago in a conversation between Jay Pearce, CEO of WVIK, and myself,” Kell said.
According to Kell, Pearce had helped build another radio station further down south of Illinois that promoted famous musicians that happened to be traveling through the area.
“(He) was very interested in what RME had to bring to the table in terms of musical content, artist interviews, and he was very interested in supporting our musical mission for the community,” Kell said.
RME continues to be a source of knowledge and growth for the community through music.
While sophomore Erik Whitcomb does not listen to WVIK regularly, he does approve of their goals.
“I like that they’re reaching out to the community,” Whitcomb said. “I don’t think there’s a huge following with that, so it’ll help generate more interest not only in the genre but music itself.”
Kate Benson, director of entertainment, heavily supports RME’s cause.
“We’ve witnessed students who come to us and sign up for music lessons or rock camp with little to no knowledge of how to play and instrument, and they go from being shy, introverted individuals to having more confidence than Bruce Springsteen on stage and playing just about as well as the boss himself.”
Benson went further and said, “the transformations we’ve seen over the years are countless and incredible, and every time we witness how music can make a positive impact on people, it reminds us of why we are here.”
RME Radio Hour airs every Saturday night at 8 p.m. on 90.3, WVIK.

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RME reaches out through the air waves