Buena Vista University's student-operated television station, University Cable Network (UCN), and the BVU Concert Band will be celebrating the 65th anniversary of the first simulcast by electronic media of an NBC Symphony Orchestra concert with a special event on March 17.
The two student organizations, assisted by BVU Theatre, will present the program at 3 p.m. at Schaller Memorial Chapel. It will be simulcast live on UCN cable channel 3; KBVU Radio 97.5 FM; and will be streamed on BVU's Web site. The program is open to the public at no charge.
The program is a UCN Studios project being produced by David Ekstrom, a senior digital media major from Odebolt, in collaboration with Jerry Johnson, assistant professor of digital media. David, who will also be directing the program, is UCN station manager, KBVU production director, and assistant photo editor of The Tack, the student-operated newspaper.
Featuring an adaptation of the script used in the 1948 radio and television broadcast, the program will transport the audience back to March 28, 1948 at Studio 8-H,NBC at Rockefeller Center, Radio City in New York City.
Dr. Michael Whitlatch, dean of the School of Communication and Arts, will participate in the event, reading the same speech that General David Sarnoff, a pioneer in American radio and television, read at the 1948 broadcast. Sarnoff was the president of RCA and chair of the board of NBC.
The role of the TV announcer will be played by Taylor Burgraff, a senior history major from Fairmont, Minn., and the radio announcer will be played by Griffin Truslow, a freshman digital media major from Armstrong. Kylie Peterson, a senior music education and vocal performance double major from Lincoln, Neb. will have the role of the stage manager.
The BVU Concert Band — known as the UCN Symphony Orchestra for this event and conducted by Jerry Bertrand, assistant professor of music — will play several works from Wagner, including some performed in the 1948 concert, and other composers.
“The inspiration for this project came last March at the College Media Association conference in New York City,” says David. “Jerry Johnson and I went to the Paley Center for Media one afternoon. There we watched a variety of classic clips and moments from famous television shows and later we watched the original simulcast of the NBC Symphony Orchestra from 1948. Jerry mentioned that we should replicate this at the UCN. I was inspired as well, so we then decided that the following school year we would commemorate by replicating the concert. Being that it would be 65 years since the simulcast aired and that it was such an important moment in television history we decided to take on the project.”