89.9 WDAV Classical Public is turning 40, and the community is invited to celebrate. The radio station will commemorate its four decades broadcasting classical music with a Top 40 Countdown of Classical Music, a birthday party and an episode of Mozart Café honoring Charlotte's 250th anniversary.
On Dec. 1, 1978, Charlotte's cultural landscape transformed with the flip of a switch. Ever since the first electromagnetic waves carrying classical music emerged from the 20,000-watt radio station located in Davidson, North Carolina, fans across the region have been tuning to the steady source of great composers and nationally distributed programs.
The celebration kicks off from 6-8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30, when the station opens its doors to the public for its 40th birthday party, which will include desserts, hot apple cider, door prizes and performances by area musicians. WDAV announcers and staff will provide tours of the station.
From noon-5 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1, and Sunday, Dec. 2, veteran WDAV announcer Joe Brant will reveal the genre's defining works over two five-hour episodes.
"We're celebrating our 40th anniversary and thought a Top 40 countdown fit nicely with the theme," said WDAV's General Manager and Content Director Frank Dominguez. "Lists are always subjective, but between our veteran team of announcers and the listeners who've been tuning to us for decades, we think we'll come up with one that reflects the station and its supporters well."
WDAV will celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the Queen City with a special two-hour Mozart Café, noon-2 p.m., Dec. 1. The episode, hosted by Rachel Stewart, will feature music popular around 1768, the year Charlotte was incorporated.
Stewart, who hosts Mozart Café and Biscuits & Bach, in addition to her role as associate content director, got her start in radio as a student at Davidson College, and has worked for the station in a variety of roles since 1982.
"We may be turning 40, but by no means would I say we're over the hill," Stewart said. "Classical music and public radio are as vital and vibrant now as they were 40 years ago, arguably even more so."
For event details, visit wdav.org.