Chelsea Epstein, Digital Audio Production

Chelsea Epstein in the College's Montco Radio studio. Photo by Matt Carlin

Chelsea Epstein in the College’s Montco Radio studio. Photo by Matt Carlin

For better or worse, it all began with Journey and Pat Benatar. That’s because Chelsea Epstein, Willow Grove, was born and raised on those musicians.

“It was mostly my mom — at home, in the car, everywhere,” says the Montgomery County Community College student. The impact helps explain why she now wants to work in radio.

The 22-year-old communications major is well on her way.

Graduating this spring, she has already acquired valuable hands-on experience through an internship at a radio station and also as the current station manager for Montco Radio, MCCC’s student-run Internet radio station.

“I like having my voice on the radio,” she comments. “It’s weird — it doesn’t sound like me. But the first time I heard it, it was awesome.”

Epstein got to hear her own voice as an intern for two and a half semesters at Clear Channel Communications’ radio station, 104.5 FM in Bala Cynwyd.

“Clear Channel was interesting. I wanted something with music, on the production side of things, setting things in motion,” she says. “I wanted to get management experience.”

The internship offered her a chance to edit and voice commercials

“They put effects on the voice, compress it and boost the volume to make sure it comes through.”

At Clear Channel, Epstein also worked on “Live at Five,” a show featuring local bands that come in to perform live. She helped set up the equipment and made sure the bands were comfortable and knew where everything was.

“It was a cool experience,” she says. “Every week it was something different. There was no band I didn’t like.”

Her position as Montco Radio station manager at MCCC involves a lot of scheduling, Epstein says, adding that, among other things, she also has to make sure every show is curse-free.

“It has to be good material,” she says of the station’s programs. “A group of kids do a local music show. We play rock, heavy metal, oldies. A few people play music and talk. Everyone’s show is different — it’s a variety.”

When school ends, she plans to apply for a job at Clear Channel, although it may require moving to another state.

“Or maybe an alternative station,” the student muses. “You can’t be too picky. We’ll see what happens.”

In the meantime, she works in a music store and lives with roommates who are musicians, but has long broken free of the Journey and Benatar near-monopoly.

Now it’s rock, indie and some underground bands, says Epstein: “anything that touches my ear.”

~ by Rebecca Rhodin

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