University of Hartford "H" Magazine - Winter 2019

University of Hartford

When the University of Hartford was incorporated just over 50 years ago by business and community leaders, they envisioned a center of education and culture for Greater Hartford. Read more...

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Steve Petke

Steve Petke is host of Thursday Evening Classics and Classical Music Director at WWUH.

Steve Petke

Place of Birth:
Hartford, CT
Started at WWUH:
What do you like about working at WWUH?
The flexibility in programming at WWUH is astounding. There is no mandatory playlist and since WWUH is 100% non-commercial, it allows me to select entire works by any number of composers. The station’s library is immense, so there is a nearly inexhaustible source of material. The passion and loyalty of the staff really comes through over the air, too. I have rarely heard such knowledge and professionalism for a “college” station.
Favorite Classical Composers/Works:
I generally respond to this question by saying “whatever I’m listening to now.” While there are simply too many to name – Bach, Schubert, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Brahms, Vivaldi, Haydn and Sibelius would be on my short list of favorite composers. Favorite works? Too many to name.
Bicycling, Soccer, Hiking, Snowshoeing, Colonial History, Animals, Dark Chocolate.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Apart from a brief aspiration to become a lawyer, I always wanted to excel in sports. But, I lacked the size and quickness for basketball or football and I couldn’t hit a curve ball. Growing up, the inevitable thinning of the ranks ensued – superstar Little League player to average Jr High School player to Varsity bench-sitter. I did have a successful High School and College soccer career, but for a full-time vocation, it was not to be in sports.
How were you introduced to Classical Music?
I come from a very musical family. WTIC-FM was always on in our house, back when WTIC had a Classical music format. My father had a good voice. My mother played and taught piano for over 30 years – and still practices in her 90s! My sister played the clarinet and my older brother played the trombone. I played shortstop.
Any fun anecdotes/experiences at WWUH?
I did inadvertently play the beginning of a 33 1/3 LP record at 45 RPM. While this may be a clever technique to see if anyone is listening, it’s generally not recommended for broadcast.