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Sunday, March 3, 2024
The Eagle

WVAU wins top award at CMJ

Recent efforts to boost the student radio station’s standing lead to WVAU being named best internet-only student-run radio station.

WVAU took home the award for “Best Student-Run, Internet-Only Station" Oct. 23 at this year’s College Music Journal Music Marathon in New York City, following the station’s first CMJ nomination. 

The award is the result of a culmination of efforts put forth by Hyunjin Park and Brendan Principato, WVAU’s co-General Managers.

“Right at the beginning [of the semester] we set goals for ourselves, goals that we wanted to do,” Principato, a College of Arts and Sciences senior, said. “And we made sure that all the e-board members had their own personal goals that were kept realistic.”

According to Principato, foresight and planning helped the station achieve their highest goal this semester. Principato and Park’s goals included:

  • Making WVAU a part of the AU community
  • Building a better station zine
  • Creating even stronger in-studio concerts for the station’s “Live in the Hive” series

The two general managers and WVAU’s executive board worked to achieve the station’s goals at the beginning of their term, Principato said. The key to following through on the goals was focusing on realistic strides and building measured plans for each department. 

“So far, most of the things that we’ve looked at in that way have come to fruition,” Principato said. “Winning the award that we won was one of our huge goals for the semester.”

Last year WVAU attended the CMJ student radio awards without a nomination and got the idea to work towards an award the following year, Principato said. Former Music Director Cameron Meindl researched the nomination process and the executive board organized itself for a win.

Five stations from other schools made it to the finalists category for the nomination. Internet-only stations from colleges in Florida, New York, Texas and California were in the running for the award, according to Principato.

Principato and Park, along with three other executive board members spent five days in New York City for the festival and received the award on the third day. For Park, a School of Communication senior, the entire moment leading up to ascending the stage was surreal.

“I remember it all happened so slowly,” Park said. “We just jumped up -- all ran up -- all five of us went up, we said ‘thank you.’ It all happened so fast, but it was awesome. Everyone was so supportive.”

For Park, meeting Bob Boilen, the creator and host of NPR’s “All Songs Considered” and the Tiny Desk Concert series, made winning the award even better.

“He came up to us after the award ceremony and was like, ‘congrats guys, good to see some D.C. representation,” Park said. “That was awesome to get that recognition from Bob Boilen.”

Now that WVAU has achieved one of their big goals for the year, Park and Principato are focusing on other initiatives.

Getting a stronger campus presence and more recognition from the University is something that WVAU is consistently striving toward, Park said.

“We have a community, but it’s only within WVAU, so I want to be a part of the AU community and just work with other organizations on campus,” Park said.

For Principato, publishing WVAU’s zine, having more in-studio concerts and building a mobile app are key objectives.

“A really cool idea that we picked up at CMJ is to make a three-year plan,” Principato said. “So, we’re going to make a three, seven and a 10-year plan for what we want for the station to sort of  leave this imprint and sort of perpetuate our brand -- starting now.”

jsmith@theeagleonline.com


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