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[Excerpt from Susan Clark’s essay found at www.kcscfm.com.]

One of Oklahoma’s five public radio stations, KCSC stays true to public radio standards to keep itself non-commercial, a standard its listeners like. This April, the station ponders its past as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

KCSC is committed to playing a wide range of music from early classical to more contemporary forms, offerings that general manager Brad Ferguson said “fits the mission of a university to heighten cultural experiences in the community.”

“It befits a university, as a preserver of culture, to project an image of high art and the timeless music of genius that classical music brings to its listeners, said Ferguson. “The music cultivates an air of respect and reverence, not just for the composer, but to many, it inspires contemplation of a greater universe.”

KCSC and its repeater station KBCW in McAlester are listed by Radio-Locator, a large Internet radio database, as the top two most listened to Oklahoma stations. This would include listeners from throughout the state to a growing number of loyal listeners who listen via the Internet.

While other radio stations have changed ownership and formats over the years, KCSC has remained steadfast to its roots, its focus on classical music. “This station was originally established as a classical format station though some experiments have crept in from time to time,” Ferguson said.

What began in 1966 as a student-operated station focused on broadcast training transformed over the years into one of about 26 stations nationwide that plays classical music 24 hours a day.

KCSC’s reach today, including KBCW, extends north to Enid and Stillwater, east to Okmulgee, Sallisaw and Poteau, south to Smithville, Atoka and Ada, and west to Chickasha and Weatherford. Listeners driving north on Interstate 35 swear they don’t lose Mozart or Beethoven until they are somewhere in Kansas. But it wasn’t always that way.

There are many major cities and states in the country where classical music fans have to search far and wide to find Bach and Brahms on their radio dial.

Oklahoma is not one of those places.