“Last semester I saw the white board sign in the station window that said all I had to do to get involved was join MC 165,” Irwin said. “At that point I was still working full time and was only able to take one class but I didn’t forget that sign. I swore I’d be back for the spring semester, and here I am!”
Since she was a child, Irwin has loved the idea of being on the radio.
“If the radio was out live covering an event in my hometown I was always hanging out by the booth ready to get on the air if they needed someone to quote about the event,” Irwin said. “When I first got here to Manhattan I had a job that when it would host events they sometimes got covered by the local radio station and I was always the one volunteering to speak for us. I think I’m drawn to radio because I enjoy putting on a show and making an impression. When I’m comfortable, I’m very bold in the way I express and act out my thoughts and feelings. Radio gives me a place to do that on a bigger stage.”
Irwin recently joined the music staff to help with sorting and selecting music for the station. She also assists with live shows. Irwin hosts a metal/active rock speciality show called the Witching Hour (@witchinghour919) on Mondays from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm, and she is an alternative DJ from 11:00 am to 12:00 on Tuesdays.
“I wanted to put more rock and especially more metal on the airwaves because those genres of music mean a lot to me,” Irwin said. “It’s music that makes me happy and was the music that got me through my teenage years and it still gets me through the bad times even now. There wasn’t and still isn’t a rock station back where I grew up and metal music, speciﬁcally more modern metal music, is always struggling to get real air time on the few rock stations we do have in Kansas.”
Irwin thinks that metal is often misunderstood by people who assume that is has no lyrics or beat.
“I want to change that misconception of metal music, I want to expose people to the beauty that I hear in metal music,” Irwin said. “I also wanted the opportunity to play music by artists who normally don’t get a lot, if any, airplay in the states, like a lot of the bands from Europe, and play songs off albums that weren’t mainstream.”
She enjoys the creativity freedom, people, and ease of learning at the station.
“I honestly thought I would have to work my way up over the entire semester to prove I could get on air maybe a couple of times, and I didn’t think my idea of a specialty show would be picked up at all,” Irwin said. “Within a week, though, the schedule came out and I was going to be on air every Tuesday and my show [The Witching Hour] every Monday. I was so surprised and elated at how everyone made getting on the radio so simple. The people who run the station really do care about just letting people express their creativity and their love for music and radio. They taught me how to run the board to get me started and they take every chance they can to encourage and teach me further in radio!”
Irwin sees a future for herself in radio.
“Maybe my show will end up being so great that we finally get a station that was completely dedicated to metal music. I want to be the metal queen of the airwaves!”
By: Maria Penrod