Volunteer Profile – Julie Simmons

Hi everyone! Welcome to a new feature on our website. Every month, we’ll be profiling a volunteer working at our station and they’ll be talking about their show and what makes it special. Look for a new profile every month on the 15th!

Catch Julie’s show, On the Marquee, every Tuesday 8-9 PM.

How loCFBX Julie2ng have you been doing your radio show?

Our first show was October 31st, 2017.

What made you want to volunteer with CFBX?

I have always been fascinated with radio and wanted to work in the broadcasting field since I can remember. I actually looked into it as a career option very seriously when I was exploring careers in high school, but I am legally blind, so there were too many visual barriers for me. I host this show with my husband, Rod, and he deals with a lot of the tech issues behind the scenes that would cause difficulties for me. He also reads the public service announcements over the air and does our news segment, the Broadway Beat. So it’s a wonderful activity for us as a couple, and because he can help with so much of the things I have trouble with, it has allowed me to finally embark on this lifelong dream of mine of doing something on the radio. We each have our roles in the show. I program the material and pick the themes and do the research on the people and shows we are playing, and he does the tech stuff and the news. Musical theatre is the true obsession of my life, so this has been a life changing experience for me, allowing me to combine two of my passions. Rod started his own show in April, When Swing Was King, in the time slot prior to On The Marquee, so he now gets to explore his other passion, swing and big band music.

What is your show about? What can we hear in your show?

The show is called On The Marquee, and the focus is everything musical theatre, from productions on Broadway and in London, movie musicals and TV musical shows and episodes. Every week, there is a particular theme (Disney on Broadway, Tony Award winning musicals, Glee, Kids on Broadway). Sometimes the theme might be a particular composer or a spotlight on a particular performer and their various roles. I’ve played selections from musicals from the 1940s all the way up to shows playing on Broadway right now. We also have a news segment, The Broadway Beat, that features all the news from the stage and screen.

What makes your show unique? Why should we tune in?

There is nothing like our show currently on CFBX or anywhere in this area, to my knowledge. I spend a lot of time planning my themes, picking out just the right songs to play and researching my subjects. So I take great pride in the accuracy of my knowledge and in educating, as well as entertaining, my audience about musical theatre.

What was the best show you’ve done to date?

There have been so many I’ve been extra proud of, but we did one show about the musical crossover episode of The Flash/Supergirl. All of those actors have extensive experience in musical theatre, so I played the songs from the musical episode and then something else that each actor has done. It was very fun to draw out all of those connections and be informative for the listeners. I was also very proud of our Mother’s Day and Father’s Day specials.

Name an artist you’ve discovered in the past year you think your audience should know about?

I’ve founmmasri-beating-heart-one-sheetd so many great artists since I’ve been exploring the CFBX library that I never heard of before. I love Mark Masri. He’s originally from Canada and is kind of similar stylistically to The Tenors. He has a lovely classical sound, but has a lovely pop kind of vibe as well. I’ve also been exploring artists like Ellen Doty, Beverly Staunton, Avery Raquel, and Sarah Smith.

What was a recent live concert or show you have been to that you enjoyed and why you enjoyed it?

We finally took our dream trip to New York in March. We saw seven Broadway musicals in five days. It was our dream trip. I loved them all, but the one that really left a lasting impression was Avenue Q. It is a Best Musical Tony winner and it is a “puppet” musical. Most of the characters are puppets, but it’s definitely NOT for kids. There is a lot of mature content in it. It’s kind of a Sesame Street for grown-ups. It’s about young adults trying to find their place in this word and dealing with the struggles of life. It’s a cute, fun show that definitely has something significant to say as well. The actors who voice and control the puppets are not concealed behind props or anything. They are fully visible with their puppets so you get to see them acting and interacting with the puppets. It’s a very innovative show. When we got back fron NYC, we did a special on our show where we talked about the musicals we saw, the whole Broadway experience and we played selections from all the shows we saw. That’s another one I was very proud of.

Are there any local artists, writers or musicians that you think your audience should know about?

I have a huge amount of respect for Andrew Cooper. He wrote the adaptation of Frankenstein that Chimera did this year and I just saw him perform in the Project X production of The Three Musketeers this summer. He is an amazing talent and Kamloops is lucky to have someone of his calibre. Sadly, he is moving to Calgary to pursue some amazing opportunities, but I hope Kamloops has not seen the last of him.

Name another show on CFBX you enjoy and why you enjoy it.

I love Ani-made in Japan. Jeremy has been doing that show for a long time and it shows. He sounds great on the air and is just a really nice guy. We did a sit-in with him when we were doing our training at CFBX. I am a lover of pop music and I just find the music he plays so catchy. I love the international shows on The X. It give us a chance to hear things from other parts of the world that we don’t usually get exposure to here in North America.

What are your plans for your show in the next year?

I still have endless ideas for themes. September will be Back to School month and we’re going to highlight some shows set in high school like the classic TV series Fame, the most recent show, Rise and a two part series dedicated to Grease. Three weeks in August will be dedicated to theatre stars in animation. Musical theatre and animation go hand in hand. Many of the animated characters are voiced by theatre legends. Of course, there will be a Halloween show and I have endless material for Christmas shows.

4 comments

  1. Enjoyed your profile Julie! You are an absolute natural and your enthusiasm is contagious. I’m so glad you get to do what you love!

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  2. Thank you SO much Julie for sharing your passions & experience with us. Your enthusiasm & dedication inspire me & your personality lights up your words as if I can actually hear you speaking them…. I think this is such a great idea to find out more about fellow programmers this way. I feel I can learn a lot, not just about CFBX’s volunteers individually, but also about the craft of creating great programs, specifically & generally. Julie, your words about themes, for example, give me ideas too. And I am inspired to learn more about your favorite performers too. Sometimes for a newer programmer like me the amount of new information is somewhat overwhelming so other’s insights really help.
    Thank you!
    Debbi Lang
    Starseed Blueprint
    Mondays 3 pm

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