Meet Candice Agree
Like the distinguished troupe of personalities who precede her, Candice Agree brings an impressive presence to WFMT. Get to know her in her own words:
Q. Where are you from?
A. I’m a native New Yorker. I’ve called Westchester, the Bronx, Queens, and various Manhattan neighborhoods home over the years.
Q. What kind of work had you been doing until now?
A. I’ve been in radio most of my adult life. I’ve been a voice actor for almost as long, announcing and voice acting in television and radio commercials, presenting audio books and museum audio tours. Some on-camera things too, but mostly voice work. For the last fifteen years I’ve been the off-camera and promo announcer for CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood. I’m excited to be able to continue in that role from Chicago.
Q. How did you start cultivating a love of music?
A. I have to credit my love of music to my dad. My earliest musical memory is of him tucking me in at night and singing to me “Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?”
Q. Where did you go to school?
A. I took the “scenic route” through school, you might say. I started off at University of Rochester and Eastman School of Music, after two years I transferred to Barnard College and changed my major from music to Russian. After graduation I attended Middlebury College’s Russian Summer Language Institute, worked for about a year at the US-USSR Trade and Economic Council (now that was an education!), then went back to Columbia to take some graduate courses in Russian literature and history. Years later, I developed a strong interest in the cultural histories of the Spanish-speaking world. In 2005, I started studying Spanish as well as Catalan at Instituto Cervantes in New York. In 2009, I was even awarded a beca (scholarship) to study for a few weeks at Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP) in Santander. I’m looking forward to taking some classes at Instituto Cervantes here in Chicago. If you need to get a hold of me, there’s a good chance you’ll find me in the Cervantes library!
Q. I hear you speak Russian. Tell us more about that. Does that continue to be a passion? Russian literature? Travel?
A. Well, I used to speak Russian better than I do now, but I still enjoy reading Russian, especially poetry. And when reading it out loud, one discovers the constant, yet evolving music of the language. Travel? Just say when! I have a serious case of wanderlust, and I hope I never find the cure!
Q. In addition to studying Russian, what else about you or what other interest might people find surprising or unique?
A. There was a short time in my radio career when I went from Bach to rock. I was working at a classical station in New York that changed formats literally over night. I went from being the last classical announcer heard on the station to the first personality heard on WAXQ – a “pure rock” format – under the name Candy Martin. I even voiced the station’s TV commercial campaign. The job required lots of personal appearances, which actually perked up my wardrobe.
Q. What do you like to do in your free time? Are you looking forward to doing that here in Chicago?
A. Is it too predictable to answer attending music and dance performances, reading, visiting museums, and walking aimlessly for miles? What can I say? That’s what I enjoy, and of course, I’m looking forward to participating in Chicago’s vibrant cultural life. What I’m really passionate about (and please don’t confuse passion with expertise!) is dance, two forms specifically: flamenco and tap. I would love to hear from listeners who could tell me where to attend classes and workshops. Also, where to find Chicago’s good flamenco shows and tap jams.
Q. Did you have any idea you’d be doing this (becoming a program host for a Chicago classical radio station)?
A. I guess the answer is I had hoped, but never imagined that the opportunity would present itself. I’m over the moon to be at WFMT, a great radio station that really cares about classical music and its listeners.
Q. What do you think you’ll miss the most about NYC?
A. My husband, of course! He’s an author and journalist working in New York, but he loves Chicago, especially the food. We’ll visit each other as often as possible, and thank goodness there’s Skype now. You might say we’ll be “Chi-coastal.”