Select a Date

July 2013
« Jun   Aug »

Comment Policy

WFMT Chime In

Chime in: Advice for Candice

What advice do you have for our new announcer Candice Agree about WFMT
or about the arts in Chicago?

  • Paul O’Toole

    Dear Ms. Agree:
    Welcome to WFMT! My advice to you is simple: 1) Maintain an audible voice level through the entire sentence. Do not subscribe the the Mel Zelman theory which states that “the last four or five words are unimportant. If they were important they would be at the beginning.”
    2) Find a referee to determine the correct pronunciation of Heitor Villa Lobos’s last name (-s or -sh). Elbio Barilari may be your man.
    Paul O’Toole
    Orland Park, IL

  • Frances S. Vandervoort

    Dear Candace,

    First, you have a wonderful name! What is the origin of the name AGREE? I would say it is French, but then I’m not even French!

    So, welcome to Chicago and to the world’s greatest classical station. We don’t even need to use the word CLASSICAL. WFMT IS the world’s greatest radio station!

    You will come to love the radio audience. They are knowledgeable, bright, opinionated, but generous, tolerant, and alway helpful to the Chicago music community, including WFMT program hosts!

    Finally, don’t exclude the Hyde Park Community on Chicago’s South Side as you explore the workings of the Chicago musical community. Barbara Schubert, is the conductor of the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra — she is one of the most talented and creative conductors around. The U. of C. brand new Logan Center has concert performances several times a month. Too may north siders ignore the South Side, and shouldn’t!

    My husband and I look forward to hearing you — often!

    Frances and Peter Vanervoort

  • Yoo, Kwang-On

    To David Swan,

    You have just read that the Art Institute of Chicago got gift of Korean Art objects.

    Can you kindly send me the original article on the subject,

    Thank you very much in advance.

  • Janet

    For new classical music listeners, they should keep an open mind regarding modern composers and compositions. More traditional sounds are not found in present-day compositions as much as they used to be.

  • Lannae Graham

    ALL music deserves our full attention; you can’t fully enjoy anything you’re not paying attention to.

  • Joel Werth

    Welcome, Candace, to Chicago and to this wonderful radio community. When I first heard your voice, I thought, “This must be a young Linda Wertheimer tape.” Now I understand — the new voice of ‘FMT. I look forward to hearing you in whatever time period you settle into. Advice? As you get your footing in Chicago, sample the varied neighborhoods of the city (and the food as well), so you’ll get a better idea of who is on the other side of the microphone. All the best — from a member of the Fine Arts Circle, a WFMT listener of more than 50 years (oh my gosh!) and, yes, another Hyde Parker (see below).

  • Matt

    I think it might be adviseable to perhaps tone down the hospice ad a little. Hospice is end of life care. While it’s nice to have the care in your home, you’re still deemed terminal when on hospice. Just food for thought. Please don’t take this as a sarcastic or dry comment either, I am trying to be genuine and helpful versus snarky and condescending.

  • John

    The street name in Chicago is pronounced De-VON.

  • Nancy DeHaven

    Dear Candice: Welcome to Chicago! I’m sure you’ll be a wonderful addition to WFMT. My advice? Well the first item is from your announcement of a minute ago (which I know many will be telling you about): here in Chicago D-e-v-o-n is pronounced duh-VONN, not DEV-un as it is along the eastern seaboard. And be forewarned, should it come up, the sports field is Soldier Field (singular), not Soldier’s Field. Ha ha! Glad to have you here with us!

  • John

    Ask to listen to a copy of “Chicago Street Names” and for somebody local to explain it. You’ll be a better resident for it.

  • Lynda Lane

    I was driving from Bar Harbor to Portland on your last day in Maine. Welcome to Chicago,you will enjoy it here. The natives are friendly and we all love Maine too.

  • Nancy Chamberlain

    Lovely to hear lady announcers but you & Suzanne might want to tone down the breathy, butter-voice approach and just speak in your normal voice. As a former broadcaster, I know how difficult it is if you’ve developed your “broadcasting voice” but the joy of WFMT is that despite everyone’s vast knowledge and expertise, they’re all just regular folks.

    • RustyEggleston

      Candice & Suzanne:

      What makes Carl, Peter, Lisa, Kerry, Dennis & George (before he left) so beloved by WFMT listeners are their abilities to talk to me one-on-one through the radio like he or she is my best friend, sitting next to me in the car passenger seat. It’s a very personal one-on-one relationship. This is the common thread woven through their very different personalities, styles and approaches.

      I think you both are tremendous additions to WFMT, and you both have beautiful voices. But, I too have noticed the “breathy, butter-voice approach,” and have thought: no one would talk to me one-on-one that way in my car or living room. It was great to hear you during the pledge drive because your natural personalities and conversational style came out more as you were interacting with the other on-air hosts. You can do it. Give us more of that during your programs.

      All the best and best of luck!

    • Rudolph Gartner

      For me, I can actually understand every word that Candace Agree and Suzanne Nantz, while she was with the station, said while on air. That, unfortunately, is not the case for me when I listen to some of the other “regular” announcers on WFMT. It’s not that they are not excellent and interesting broadcasters, for they are, and with deep, profound knowledge and experience with classical music. But the fact is, to use one’s “regular” voice and to allow one’s voice to take repeated rises and dips as in typical conversation, makes for a broadcast voice that is not consistent and prone to being misheard and misunderstood, or simply not understood. A few of WFMT’s broadcasters do this, in my opinion, and one of them sometimes speaks too fast.
      So, I praise Candace Agree and the former station broadcaster, Ms. Suzanne Nantz, for their professional broadcast voices.

  • Eimira

    Candice, I’m sorry to say that for the first time ever on FMT I’ve had to turn down the volume during your ads and announcements. Personally I think you’d do the advertisers more good by speaking a bit softer in your announcements so they don’t get muted by some listeners.

    • Eimira

      PS I’d have to agreed with Nancy Chamberlain’s comment below as well.

  • umbriago

    To “chime in” with the comments below, the two new announcers are really trying too hard, to the point of being annoying. Candace, we are told, has an acting background, and I’m afraid that’s what it sounds like: acting. Suzanne sounds like she is pitching the music instead of just presenting it. Her on-air presence is more of a gab-fest. My advice to both: please, just relax and talk to your audience in a simple and straightforward manner. Listen to the other announcers, and notice how understated they are. Remember, it’s primarily the music we tune in to listen to, not the presenters. And yes, please lower the volume.

  • Robin

    My daughter and I were both cracking up about the “breathy, butter voice,” and we agree (no pun intended) completely with that. It sounds too fake.

  • Eugenia

    I love Candice’s personality and her beautiful voice. Having her refreshing voice is a beautiful addition to the stelar voices we are in used to. Change is something some people take time to assimilate…. please do not be so hard on her!

  • aquarello

    Can someone please convey to Candice to turn down the volume? I’m listening to the Beethoven recital on Monday night, and her announcements and commercials are twice as loud as the programming.

  • Paul O’Toole

    I also join the ranks of those with words of advice for our new announcers. For the past 50 years I have complained about the legendary “WFMT mumble” wherein male announcers often drop words and whole phrases at the end of sentences (the Mel Zelman School of Announcing). I fear that management has gone a bit too far by pushing the happy talk style that we have seen not only in our two recently hired announcers Candice and Suzanne, but also in their predecessor, George Preston. Perhaps this has been done to satisfy sponsors who want to put some sizzle in recent copy that has gone over the top in pretentiousness. How many things can be described as “glorious?” Who needs to have his washing machine delivered in a Mercedes? The new voice styles suit this type of pitch, but neither the voice nor the pitch suits “Chicago’s Fine Arts Station.”

  • Mazurka Wojciechowska

    I have been a WFMT listener since infancy and I remember some of the other women announcers: Christine Sweet, Cate Sperry, etc., none of whom I could listen to, up to Lisa Flynn. I didn’t like Lisa at first either, but now I love her. What was difficult for me to get used to was her breathiness (sp?) and tendency to insert an “h” before many vowels, for example, the word “pay” came out “p – h -ay”. Can you imagine how she said “Beethoven”? It took a week! [Either she doesn’t do this anymore, or I have gotten used to it.] She now has a common-sense delivery that keeps me tuned in.

    I am having a similar issue with Candice and Suzanne (sorry!). I know this is primarily for Candice, but here’s my problem with Suzanne: her tendency to raise and lower her pitch within the course of a few syllables would give her a head start in learning Chinese, but doesn’t fit in with WFMT’s even-toned announcers. It’s not a big deal, we don’t need a drama reading of “Cancer Treatment Centers of America”. Whenever that one comes on I either change the station or turn off the radio. Not meaning to squelch her creativity, she would be great on stage. But in radio-land, some of us (meaning this listener) would prefer she leave the emo inflections at home and just announce the tunes and their performers without all the flourishes.

  • George Joseph

    I wish that Suzanne and Candice would go back to wherever it is that they came from–were they perhaps used car saleswomen before joining the ranks of a classical radio station? Both seem to think that their breathy, emotive delivery is MUCH more important than the music being presented. George Preston was bad enough, but these two gals are worse than finger-nails on a blackboard. Mostly now, I keep my radio turned off.
    Thanks Candice and Suzanne!

  • Dan

    I agree with everyone here about Suzanne. I don’t need drama, and her voice sounds affected. She should listen to the other announcers (Lisa Flynn, for instance) to see how it’s done.

    • Rudolph Gartner

      I’m guessing that all these needless negative comments about Suzanne’s broadcast voice may have contributed to her seeking work in her field elsewhere. You table-side critics may have just driven her out of our city, an example of the narrow minded, hard-headed attitude that many folks in Chicago have.

  • seecee

    My main beef with some of the WFMT announcers is that they talk too much. I imagine there are many people who appreciate having someone talking to them, keeping them company, even providing interesting commentary – Carl Grapentine must have a number of panting followers. But the fact is that WFMT is the only station playing classical music, and I, for one, want to hear music, not personal reflections on the day, the music, the composer, or anything else. Candace Agree has a lovely voice, but I don’t tune in to hear what she has to say (sorry). The announcers may have developed a sense of grandeur because we listeners prefer them to recorded commercials. But we listen for the music. Please, less babble and more music. I’d listen to jingles for 60 seconds if I didn’t have to hear them prattle on about some of the interesting facets of the pieces they’re paying. Just the music, folks. thanks

    • Rudolph Gartner

      That is a sorry commentary you make. It is appropriate to make relevant comments about the music being broadcast, whether they concern the composer of the music, the performers, the history of the discography, or whatever. Yes, the comments need to be relevant and pertinent, but I find that they are relevant, pertinent, informative, and interesting. If you cannot take the comments of these broadcasters who are well-versed and experienced in classical music, and have wonderful knowledge, I really wonder why you are listening to classical music on the radio. Perhaps you should stick to listening to classical music on LPs and CDs or through streaming. I would bet that you don’t bother either to read any liner notes.

  • Frank

    Hi Candice
    Today, 6/29/2014 is Bernard Hermann ‘s birthday.
    How about a piece by him? Maybe music from “Psycho “?

  • fylgja

    Wow, Candice! I’m stunned at the “advice” you’ve received. My advice? Don’t pay any attention to the pretentious meanness below. (A butter-voice?) You sound wonderful, keep on doing what you’re doing.

    I’m listening to you in Wyoming (thank goddess for internet), and it’s so good to hear voices I’m so familiar with (and the new voices) so far from home.

    Enjoy your awesome new job! Welcome to Chicago, the greatest city ever (and it used to be a lot friendlier)!

  • Lars

    I know I’m late in chiming in, but tonight I became so annoyed w/ WMFT that I had to – and then I noticed this string. It took awhile before I realized that two female announcers joined in 2013. Both Suzanne & Candice have similar voices, pitches & styles. But, I’ve finally deduced that Suzanne is the most annoying to me. Such an unctuous delivery! Listening to the pros (Carl & Lisa), I know it’s possible to sound genuinely interested in what’s being said without sweetly accenting every other word. (“Cancer Centers of American where care never quits” Ugh!) Maybe a little bit less of “coming up”, too. Just play the music without so many comments. Thanks.

  • Sharon Cohen

    Welcome to Chicago. I’m so happy you can pronounce all foreign words correctly and you sound cheery and have a smile in your voice. I challenge your critics to try and do what you do for a day. Congratulations!

  • ArtReis

    Candice: Just heard you play that marvelous Cesar Franck Chromatic Fantasy in A major for Organ with Anthony Newman (apparently no longer available). And then you mentioned that you seldom play organ music at 9:00 on a Saturday morning. Why so shy? This IS a ‘keyboard music hour’, no? Carl has no trouble playing organ music occasionally during the week on The Morning Program. As a life-long lover of organ music, I don’t see the need to segregate the power of organ music to one (and should be two) hours a week on late Sunday nights, as incredible as is the “Pipedreams” program. So, have at it, Candice! Be adventuresome! I bet you won’t have nearly the tuneout you seem to think you’d have, and who knows? You may inspire a person, young or old, to get more curious about organ music outside of church.

  • al citera

    these people are nuts. announcing ain’t brain surgery.
    I think all wfmt announcers are excellent, except for
    Kerry, when I turn my volume up to about 100dcb.

  • Rudolph Gartner

    I really liked the film music of the Mexican composer, Silvestre Revueltas, and his three scores from the 1930s that Candace Agree played on Sunday evening, August 16. How interesting to learn about this unknown, for me, composer, and technically and musically brilliant is his music for me. His orchestrations are masterful, while I thought I heard some good influence from Debussy, which is fine, naturally. Revueltas was born in 1891, I learned from Candace, so it is plausible that Revueltas could have known about Debussy and his music, but I don’t know if that’s the case. If not, that makes his music even more striking.