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October 2013
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A New Voice on WFMT: Meet Suzanne Nance

Suzanne Nance

Suzanne Nance

WFMT welcomes Suzanne Nance to Chicago, and to the WFMT family. Suzanne comes to us from Maine Public Radio where she was the morning host on weekdays. Starting on Monday, she will be our late afternoon host, bringing you music and news. Over the coming months, you’ll be getting to know her between 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM on WFMT. In the meantime, here’s a little Q and A. Please join us in welcoming Suzanne (back) to Chicago.

You’ve most recently been with Maine Public Radio. Are you originally from the northeast?

I grew up just outside of Philadelphia, in Newtown Square, PA and most of my family still resides in that area.

Have you always worked in radio?

My broadcasting career began in television in Philadelphia with an impromptu television interview (a story for another time)! In 2001, I joined the team at WHYY and had the opportunity to watch host Terry Gross (Fresh Air) and other extraordinary radio producers and personalities in action which was inspiring and influential. Eventually, I decided to focus most of my efforts on live performance (as a classical singer) and on radio broadcast as a host and producer. I became fascinated with the art of the interview and presenting classical music and the fine arts in an exciting way.

What’s your earliest memory of loving music?

Growing up, there was always music in my home. We would often find ourselves dancing in the kitchen, spilling into the living room before long. My mom and sisters possess a strong love of music along with a great sense of humor and eclectic musical tastes. My dad loves oldies and jazz and he would often DJ Sunday brunch for us! I’d often run around with a makeshift microphone, (usually a hairbrush) singing for any willing (or unwilling) listener! So, music has always been an important and beautiful part of my life.

Where did you go to school?

I attended Syracuse University (NY) to study music performance and the music industry for a B.M. degree. I received the Master of Music degree from DePaul University (Chicago) in 2005.

What are your interests beyond music?

Suzanne – I love to cook and read poetry! I enjoy dancing very much. And I like to travel and listen to people speak about their lives, cultures and experiences. I also love walking and playing with my dog (mini-poodle), Coco Chanel along Lake Michigan!

What do you think people would be surprised to know about you?

I’ve always dreamed of being on Saturday Night Live! I love 80’s music and I landed a plane when I was 7 years old.

What do you like to do in your free time? Do you need any recommendations from our listeners?

I enjoy attending concerts and events and supporting the local fine arts community. Yes, I’d definitely love for folks to let me know about exciting upcoming events. And, I always welcome hearing about pieces of music that are special to people and why.

Did you have any idea you’d be doing this (becoming a program host for a Chicago classical radio station)?

Are you kidding? (She says with a hearty laugh, and her hands stretched out wide)! This is a dream job! I have always admired and respected WFMT and its mission, hosts, supporters and listeners. Chicago is home to the most extraordinary fine arts station in the world, WFMT, and I am humbled and honored to now be a part of the team. I thank everyone that supports WFMT’s efforts and will work hard to contribute to this legendary network!

What did you love the most about New England/what do you think you’ll miss? How do you imagine adapting to Chicago?

I miss the people of Maine. It truly is an extraordinary place filled with hard-working, creative, good and dedicated people with a fantastic arts scene and a fine appreciation for the good things in life.  However, I’m ecstatic to be back in Chicago. The people here are also wonderful and so welcoming. I’ve already enjoyed preparing shows for broadcast and attending Lyric Opera of Chicago’s dress rehearsal of Verdi’s Otello in preparation for WFMT’s live broadcast. The music and art scene is amazing and the lake is glorious. I have friends here and I feel incredibly lucky to once again call Chicago home!

  • Andrew C. Twaddle

    Chicago is incredibly lucky to have Suzanne Nance on WFMT. She is, bar none, the best classical DJ I have known in my 75 years of listening. She brough magic to Maine and we miss her here. Your gain is our loss.

  • Matt Thornton

    You will thoroughly love Suzanne’s program. Her knowledge of music, programming creativity and enthusiasm make her classical show the best I have heard. Be sure to tune in and enjoy her amazing selections of music and the smile in her voice. Great news for WFMT and Chicago!

  • Jim Oas

    I have been a listener to WFMT for 55 years. I remember over 30 years ago shouting to my little brother
    ” hey, guess what , WFMT has a new announcer, Kerry Frumkin”.
    I welcome Suzanne Nance with the same enthusiasm.

    Jim Oas, Park Ridge

  • Julia Moore

    Welcome to WFMT, Suzanne! 4-7pm is a heavy listening time for me as I’m coming home from work, cooking, and eating dinner with my family. WMFT is usually my companion for the commute, in the kitchen, and as we eat our evening meal. I’m looking forward to hearing your new program!

  • Darcy Doniger

    I could use 100 adjectives to describe Suzanne Nance, and still fall short. Just tune in… Just one show, and you’ll be hooked! Congratulations Chicago!!!

  • Carolyn Mix

    Suzanne is simply spectacular! With a twinkle in her voice, she shepherds listeners through the notes with wit, wisdom and a brilliant sense for connecting with people across time and space.

  • Eric E. Frisch

    Really enjoyed your inaugural show. What a great addition to Chicago’s radio!

  • David Brackley

    Suzanne… welcome to Chicago and WFMT! I was so pleased when I heard Carl interview you last week, and I was taken with your “on air sound” immediately! You seem to be the perfect host for the stressful late afternoon hours, as your manner is very relaxing and calming. Today’s program was awesome! When I heard you were from Maine, I also perked up, because I grew up there. I took piano lessons in Topsham, and my teacher taught at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. I miss the ocean and the hills of New England… and the autumn colors!

    Once again… welcome! It’s great having you “on board”!!
    David Brackley

  • Russell H. Tuttle

    Welcome to Chicago, Ms Nance,

    Please become acquainted with the Newberry Consort, especially when they perform at the Logan Center, UC, and Haymarket Opera, directed by Craig Trompeter. We are blessed to have these fine early music groups resident in our city.


    Russ Tuttle
    Professor, UC

  • Margi Kyle

    Great Debut Suzanne! Lovely show on Monday. I listened on the way home to Yarmouth along the coast of Maine!


  • Cindy FW

    We miss you in Maine, Suzanne! Good luck in Chicago–I’ve been listening to WFMT from time to time on my computer and it is a wonderful station!

  • Marc Dube

    I missed your last show on MPBN and wanted to make sure I caught your first on WFMT. Great to hear your voice again. Best of luck to you. I, and I’m sure many Mainers, will be listening to you often.

    Marc Dube
    Bowdoin, Maine

  • Barbara

    Suzanne – where did you go today? We tuned in and all did not seem well. Good luck and hope you’re back soon. Faithful listeners from Maine and tuned in to hear your extraordinary radio.

  • Joseph S. Lucca

    A great addition to a great station. Your voice sings with your obvious love of music. Welcome!

  • Memarie Christoforo

    Glad you are thrilled to be at WFMT, but don’t forget your friends in Maine

  • Memarie Christoforo

    Glad you are loving it in Chicago!:) One of your Maine fans.

  • NorCalBuc

    I thought NO ONE would ever replace Robert J Lurtzema as the morning radio host of New England classical music programming. Ms. Nance surpassed Mr Lurtzema. She is every bit as gorgeous as she is talented! My family and I miss her dearly.

  • Zoltan Newberry

    Is Suzanne single?

  • Ugh

    Can’t stand to listen to her. Her delivery is so arch, so affected that it sets my teeth on edge.

  • ugh

    Can’t stand to listen to her. She is so arch, so affected that it sets my teeth on edge.

  • Lee

    Your voice sparkles and diction is superb!

  • Tom Vander Ven

    Suzanne Nance has the same energy, vocal richness, and naturalness of delivery that I hear in Terry Gross of Fresh Air. A great new voice on a great “old” station, which I have listened to since 1967 in South Bend, Indiana, and still listen to in Georgia.