Celebrating 10 Years of KHWS

Students+are+able+to+sign+up+for+time+slots+and+share+music+with+their+peers+through+the+school%27s+radio+station%2C+KHWS.

Illustration By Sydney Fener

Students are able to sign up for time slots and share music with their peers through the school’s radio station, KHWS.

Fallon Dern

With one click to khwsradio.com, you are greeted with a gif of Bart Simpson jamming out to music and the club’s name formed out of white computer mice. The front page holds a setlist from April 2020, where ’80s rock and new rap music exist in perfect harmony. Since the 2010-2011 school year, KHWS has served as a home for students to share music and connect with friends. On its 10 year anniversary, KHWS staffers and hosts spoke about what their work means to them, and why it’s not going away any time soon.

Club leader Allie Landecker ‘21 hosts every Wednesday from 5-6 p.m. She reflected on how things have changed throughout the years.

“I think KHWS has been impacted to a lesser degree than a lot of other clubs since we’ve always been primarily online-based,” Landecker said. “We’ve gotten a few less DJs though, since we used to get people to sign up by blasting music on the quad during activities fair, which we obviously can’t do this year. I love KHWS because it’s such a good way to connect with other people and share your music with your friends.”

New DJ Nicole Shkurovich ‘23 has yet to blast her station’s music on the quad, but said she still enjoys every Sunday night she, Izzy Daum ‘23 and Grace Hudson ‘23 share on “Michael Cera.”

“This experience has helped me connect with so many old friends and new people through music,” Shkurovich said. “Especially now, it is extremely important to grow and maintain those connections.”

Hudson, a former “Michael Cera” listener turned cohost, agreed.

“Over quarantine, I lost touch with so many friends,” Hudson said. “Being apart of the station and chatting with them was such an unexpected positive change in my routine.”

KHWS has fostered musical and intellectual growth by giving students space to express and share their interests with others. Ava Tran ‘21 and Chris Lee ‘21 host each Sunday from 5-6 p.m, sandwiched between “HOT GIRL RADIO” and “The Semites”. Tran has grown to love the community of KHWS and how much fun they have.

“[Chris and I] have so much freedom to really just do whatever we want with our hour,” Tran said. “All of the people in the club are so kind and funny, and just being able to listen to new stuff and share your own music has been a really great experience. With our show specifically, I think we just have a lot of fun just talking with each other, and experimenting with new music. I would love more people to come and listen!”

Lena Bagley ‘22 and Alec Rosenthal ‘22 of “The Semites”, spoke in agreement with Tran.

“It has given me the opportunity to connect with my friends and explore my own music taste,” Bagley said. “Being a part of the club has given me a weekly outlet to play my music and share that with others.” 

“I really enjoyed tuning into it when I was in middle school and learning about new artists and music,” Rosenthal ‘23. “Now that I’m a broadcaster, I think that KHWS is one of the coolest and most fun clubs on campus. I think that the ability to share music and also the people that are involved make it a really special and cool club, and I’m glad that element is still able to exist from a distance as friends independently share with those they can’t see in online school.”

After Zoom school gets out, hosts go live on the radio website Mixlr from Sundays to Thursdays: sharing oldies, goodies and stories of their week. Aerin Duke ’23 said she tunes in to hear the hosts’ stories and experience the action live. Eloise Stoddard ’23 said shemakes to time to listen to friends, and loves to get a peek into the soundtrack of someone else’s week- whether it be rap, heavy metal, citypop, punk rock or slow indie jams.

For 10 years and counting, KHWS has not been about trophies, titles or a tag to add to your resume. No matter when you tune in, or if you tune in at all, somewhere, behind a Mixlr link and a bundle of nerves is a classmate who cares about what they do. Someone has something to look forward to hosting and someone else has a song title they need to write down. Like a team warming up before a championship, or a band waiting to get on stage, the KHWS group is a virtual huddle of students supporting one another through chatroom hearts, funny comments, and connection through what they love: music.

“I missed having hockey games with Izzy and Nicole,” Hudson said. “If this is what teamwork’s going to look like now, it’s a team I’m glad to be a part of.”