Classical South Florida Hosts

Julie Amacher

Monday through Friday: 2 pm - 4 pm

Julie Amacher

Julie Amacher's desire to introduce others to great music is what led her to radio. She began her professional broadcast career at a station in Sun Prairie, Wisc. She went from rock ‘n’ roll to the Rocky Mountains, where she found her niche in public radio at KUNC in Greeley, Colo. Julie spent 13 years at KUNC, where she managed the announcers and their eclectic music format. During that time, she earned four national awards for best announcer. She joined American Public Media in 1997.

Scott Blankenship

Sunday through Tuesday: 1 am - 6 am
Saturday 1 am to 7 am

Scott Blankenship

Scott Blankenship started his radio career in college when he began working as a volunteer at a local cable radio station, announcing alternative and new rock music. His love and appreciation of classical music began at public radio station KVNO in Omaha, where he spent 13 years in various on-air and management roles, five of those years as the morning drive-time host.

Indications that radio was in his blood go back to age five, when he used a corkboard and a battered phonograph as a make-shift radio studio, his father's Air Force issue flashlight served as his “on air” light. In his spare time, Blankenship is an avid cyclist and amateur playwright with several produced scripts to his credit.

Bob Christiansen

Thursday and Friday: 8 pm - 1 am
Saturday: 7 pm - 9 pm, 1 am - midnight

Bob Christiansen

Bob Christiansen has managed to combine his knowledge of classical music and history with a sharp wit and a talent for foreign languages into a 38-year radio career. While studying the ramifications of the “Time of Troubles” on the Grand Duchy of Moscow, he led a secret life as the evening man on the Northern Illinois University radio station. He teamed with Bill Morelock in 1987 to create the nationally syndicated Bob and Bill.

Jeff Esworthy

Monday through Friday: noon - 2 pm

Jeff Esworthy

Jeff Esworthy is a public radio veteran with more than 20 years behind the microphone, where he's hosted everything from folk to jazz to progressive rock. A hobbyist musician and collector of instruments from around the world, Jeff has what he describes as a “passable” command of southern string-band music on fiddle and banjo, and he is a long-time student of the classical music of Northern India on instruments such as the sitar, sarangi and tabla.

Ward Jacobson

Wednesday through Friday: 1 am - 6 am

Ward Jacobson

Ward Jacobson has enjoyed a radio career spanning over two decades as a morning show host and sportscaster, as well as producer/host of an interview program where he chatted up both local and national authors, musicians, politicians and newsmakers. He is also a past winner of the prestigious Marconi Award. Jacobson's love of classical music stems from a childhood influenced by his bass-baritone father and piano-teaching mother. While still a college student in Nebraska, he began singing with the Abendmusik Chorus and took part in concert tours to venues as varied as England's Lincoln Cathedral, the Vatican, Salzburg Cathedral, Auschwitz and Moscow. When not singing, he works to develop his guitar-strumming repertoire.

Valerie Kahler

Sunday: 7 pm - 1 am

Valerie Kahler

Valerie Kahler came to the American Public Media team after more than a decade as a classical host and music director at KNAU in Flagstaff, Ariz. She holds a degree in cello performance and plays piano in self-defense, but feels most at home in front of a microphone—as your companion for an evening of classical music, or singing classic tunes in a club.

Melissa Ousley

Melissa Ousley

Melissa Ousley stumbled into a career in broadcasting many years ago when she moved to Wichita, Kansas to be near her soon-to-be husband. The attraction (to radio work, that is) was immediate and the chance to be around great music without having to practice piano was irresistible. After establishing herself as a host and producer in Kansas, Melissa moved to Minnesota and continued her work at WCAL in Northfield and Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul. Her morning classical show at WCAL was twice named "Best Classical Radio Program" by the Twin Cities paper City Pages. Melissa grew up near New York City. As a teenager, she attended the Preparatory Division of the Manhattan School of Music. Her bachelor's degree in music education is from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. When she's away from the airwaves, Melissa loves to run, read, and spend time with her family.

Mindy Ratner

Thursday and Friday: 4 pm - 8 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 1 pm - 7 pm

Mindy Ratner

Mindy Ratner began her career in public broadcasting following her graduation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working first for the local public television station and then for Wisconsin Public Radio. She moved on to stations in Cincinnati and Philadelphia before joining American Public Media in 1983. In 1998 and '99, Ratner took a leave of absence to work as a music host and producer for China Radio International in Beijing. Her spare time is devoted to international travel; folk, ballroom and contradancing; singing in the Minnesota Chorale; her two cats, and trying to stay ahead of the weeds in her garden.

Elena See

Monday through Wenesday: 10 pm - 1 am

Elena See

Elena See started her radio career in Minnesota in 2001, working as part of the production team for Garrison Keillors A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer's Almanac. From there she spent time in Maine performing in local orchestras, teaching college composition and eventually became the classical music director at Maine Public Broadcasting. Her time in Maine was followed by a tour in Washington D.C. working as the music director for Sirius XM Satellite Radio's classical music stations. She also produced the Live from the Concertgebouw concert series. When she's not on the public radio airwaves, Elena usually spends her time with her family (which includes several enormous dogs), searching out new music venues with friends, reading great (and not-so-great) books, and pretending she can play the guitar.

Lynne Warfel

Monday through Wednesday: 4 pm - 8 pm
Saturday and Sunday 7 am - 1 pm

Lynne Warfel

Lynne Warfel returns to a 24 year radio career after a four-year hiatus. In this "Cavorting with Collies" period, she followed her lifelong passion for working with dogs as a trainer/consultant. Before The Dog Mutterer phase, she was one of the first national hosts on PRI's Classical 24 service; appeared as guest narrator with both The Minnesota and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras, and was national host of "Echoes of Christmas with the Dale Warland Singers". Lynne started out in Los Angeles at KFAC and KUSC; continuing as a "rock jock" at Radio Forth in Edinburgh, Scotland. A Pennsylvania native, she graduated as a Theater major from Northwestern University. A 30-year member of Screen Actor's Guild and Actor's Equity, she still works as an actor whenever she can talk anyone into it. She's been blessed with two terrifically swell sons. She loves all dogs (especially her Gordon Setters), horses (especially her Lipizzan), a good laugh, all things Welsh, any beach at sunrise and/or sunset, and ... pelicans.

John Zech

Monday through Friday: 6 am - 10 am

John Zech

John Zech got started in broadcasting as a news anchor at his high school's closed-circuit television station (KRUD). While in school at St. Olaf College, his love of classical music earned him his first “real” radio experience at WCAL-FM. After a dozen years doing virtually everything there was to do at a small public radio station, John crossed over into the private sector, producing and voicing an audio reading program for a major educational publisher, managing multilingual translation projects for an international communications firm, and generally learning what it's like to work for a living. Having seen the light, John returned to radio in 1992. He spends much of his time working to improve his tennis ranking in the USTA Northern Section, composing limericks and trying to give himself an ironclad leave from a three-rail billiard shot.