KAFM programmer Miriel Collins brings ‘upbeat voice’ to the waves
With Tedi Gillespie
Tune in to KAFM on a Friday morning before noon and you’ll hear an energized, eclectic music show hosted by one of KAFM’s fairly new, but well-seasoned programmers, Miriel Collins.
Miriel hails from Chicago and moved to the Grand Valley from Denver with her husband, Josh Pittman, who hired on as head coach for the Colorado Mesa University men’s soccer team, now in their seventh season. Miriel works as a registered nurse on St. Mary’s Cardiac Unit and recruited fellow nurses, Jessica Woodruff and Lydia Hill, to share the rotation on Friday morning from 9 a.m. to noon, and they call their show “Three Beats.”
Miriel can also be heard on the third Wednesday of every month from 1 to 3 p.m., where she serves up a mix of rock, indie rock, Americana, with a touch of world and jazz. Jeff “Coach” Shuldener has been a fan since recruiting Miriel to her first show .
“Miriel brings an upbeat voice to KAFM, but her show is much more than her personality. Her playlists feature catchy and contemporary tracks. Miriel stays on top of the latest releases, so the listener can always discover something new.” Miriel also helps out with the music bureau by writing reviews and language checking new music that comes to the station.
I sat down with Miriel to find out what brought her to KAFM and what makes the cut on her playlist.
TG: How did you come to be on the KAFM airwaves?
MC: I discovered the station right after moving here in 2007. It quickly became my number one preset. I started donating during pledge drives and became a member. When I graduated from nursing school I decided to become more involved with the station; so when I came in to pay my pledge during the 2012 Spring Drive, I told the first person I interacted with that I wanted to volunteer. I started at the front desk and a couple weeks later, Coach recruited me to be a programmer. I’ve now been programming for a little over a year and it is one of the most fun, de-stressing activities I do!
TG: Why do you volunteer at KAFM and why do you think others should support the station?
MC: I think KAFM is good for the community. Besides having amazing music that you won’t hear on any other station, KAFM’s community affairs programs showcase nonprofits and events special to our area and that helps organizations get their message out to the community. BUT also, the community that supports and surrounds KAFM is amazing. We have the best KAFM family. If you love many different genres of music, KAFM is the station for you. You can listen to jazz during one show, indie/Americana next, start your evening with some world music and finish your night with some electronica.
TG: Best thing about living in the Grand Valley?
MC: One of the best things about living here is KAFM (seriously)! We love the outdoor opportunities — mountain biking, hiking, skiing, camping, trail running, and the agricultural area is amazing. I love all the fresh local produce and having the wineries so close!
TG: Best local live shows?
MC: Wilco at the Avalon May 2008, Radiation City at the Cavalcade in Fruita this past March.
TG: What makes the perfect playlist?
MC: For me, it’s the time in preparing, also being mindful of the transitions between songs. I try to ease between different genres. It sounds a little funny to play metal and then follow it up with something sweet and easy listening.
TG: Other programmers at KAFM that inspire you?
MC: Lance Lewis, the H-Man, Laney Heath and ImaJen.
TG: Favorite new artists?
MC: Radiation City, The Black Keys, The Mowgli’s, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Hey Ocean! and the Smith Westerns.
TG: Favorite all-time artists?
MC: The Beatles, Queen, Wilco, David Bowie, Coldplay.
TG: Three musicians you would like to have dinner with (dead or alive)?
MC: George Harrison, Freddie Mercury, and Jeff Tweedy
TG: Your motto in music … or life?
MC: Embrace change! It’s always fun to learn something new and meet someone new!
Tedi Gillespie is the executive director at KAFM Community Radio. She often hosts local, community affairs programs and occasionally subs music variety programs.
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