Live Music Week Fall 2020: Testimonials

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When you support WERS this Live Music Week, you are also supporting the many students who keep this station going strong. WERS provides the future leaders of media with the experience and training they need to not only be successful, but to make a positive impact in our community and throughout the world. From our on-air student hosts to those working behind the scenes on our digital content or on our sponsorship team, the opportunities they have here at WERS are made possible by listener support. 

Check out some of the stories from WERS Alumni and current students below to learn more about the impact your donation has!

Alex Lonati, Former Host of Standing Room Only

Lonati Headshot 2 - 2020

Hosting Standing Room Only at WERS was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. I have actually been a longtime listener, having grown up outside of Boston in a theatre family. Ever since I was 8 or 9 years old, we would turn on SRO every Saturday and my mom and I would play a game to see who could name the musical fastest. I have become rather impressive at identifying songs by their opening chords!

When I was accepted to Emerson, I hoped that one day I might be able to host the show myself, but I never imagined I’d be given the opportunity to do so as quickly as I did. I became the

full-time host in December of my freshman year, meaning I had a full three-and-a-half years as the host – learning, growing, and getting to know our listeners more and more each week.

The thing I miss most about SRO was building a relationship with the listeners. It was amazing to get to know people through them calling into the station or meeting them in the real world. I was always shocked by the scope of the show and how many people tuned in each week. Knowing that there were so many people who cared as much about musical theatre and specifically this show really made me feel like I was a part of a family.

I do think that being the host of Standing Room Only set me up for success in the theatre world as well. I met so many artists through my time there and made lasting connections with arts organizations throughout the city. In some ways, I think it was what first opened the door for me to begin my career as a director, producer, and arts administrator at SpeakEasy Stage Company. I will forever be grateful for all WERS taught me and the connections I made while there.

I’m sure some listeners will remember my tearful and dramatic final show. I’m pretty sure I played exclusively songs with a “goodbye” theme for the final hour. A bit indulgent perhaps, but I was so sad to say goodbye to such a huge part of my life. To this day, I still tune in every once in a while, and it makes me so happy to hear the music continue.

Suzie Hicks, FORMER wers host

My freshman year at Emerson, WERS became my home. It was the place I could go to escape the hectic world of classes and extracurriculars; a portal to a world where the only things that mattered were good music and good people. It taught me how to write, how to perform, how to fundraise, and how to build friendships and networks that have lasted long after I graduated.

WERS is so much more than a radio station. It’s a destination, an escape, an identity. It gave me a sense of self and purpose that led to so many other


opportunities during and after college. Beyond just the street cred of saying I was a radio host at one of the best stations in the country, I gained countless unforgettable mornings with doughnuts and pledge scripts, nights at concerts with bands I idolized, and weekends at festivals I never would have gone to without the support and exposure of WERS. 

Now, as an alumni, I have continued my work with public media, and plan to do so for the majority of my career. I interned with WBUR the summer after graduation (which happened in big part thanks to WERS), and currently hold a position with PBS SoCal addressing the digital divide and achievement gap for students in the era of Coronavirus. I also created an arts festival with the knowledge and resources that WERS gave me, which still happens every semester at Emerson. Thanks to Live Music Week specifically, I learned the fundraising strategies to raise over $15,000 for the children’s book I am writing. My experiences at WERS set me up for a host of interdisciplinary success, all rooted in high quality public media.

This place means a lot to me, and if it means something to you too, it’s your time to shine. WERS supports us every day with music and events that heal and inspire us, so now it’s our chance to support them back. Live music week gives us the opportunity to show how strong the WERS community is, and I cannot wait to see you join it.

Anthony Cabrera, Host of The Playground


Hey there, my name is Anthony – aka Ant the Man – host of The Playground and the Production Coordinator for 88.9 WERS. I have worked with 88.9 for almost four years now and in that time, I've had the pleasure of helping out with just about every aspect of the station. From the weekend specialty shows, concerts, and hosting weekdays, weeknights, overnights – and then there's my love, my favorite: The Playground. Although, being the Production Coordinator for the station this year has been an absolute blast. I have all of this thanks to one flyer, one random flyer I found during my first week on Emerson's campus when I was a freshman and I moved in. Honestly, it was the best

decision of my life; one of them, at least. Opportunities have opened themselves up left and right – I have worked with so many amazing folks. Honestly, being a part of 88.9 will never leave me. I am proud to be a part of the 88.9 family.

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