Student disc jockeys on 91.3 The Storm crank up the noise by playing America’s top 40 hottest hits.
Staff running Dixie State College’s growing radio station reach people across Washington County and into parts of Iron County. People in southern Utah can tune in to listen to what’s hot on campus, including top 40 music and a variety of talk shows. Radio staff are working with different companies to acquire funds and equipment to put up a second station with classical music and NPR for those listeners who like softer content.
Shawn Denevan, KXDS general manager and an adjunct instructor of communication, said originally 91.3 was a classical music station, but about a year ago the decision was made to change the station to a top 40 format. He said the main purpose of the change was to involve students more and play music they’re are listening to.
“There were some eyebrows raised when we got rid of the classical and switched to the top 40 format,” Denevan said. “My goal is to see if I can make everyone happy. If we have the classical music and some NPR, we’ll draw in our older audience—our alumni who enjoy the softer music.”
He said the top 40 music is focused more toward what students are listening to, “for the students, by the students.”
Amber English, a student DJ for The Storm and a senior mass communication major from St. George, said they play all the fun and latest music to dance to. She said she joined the radio staff to be more involved in school.
“I wanted to learn how to be a DJ and see if I like that as a career,” English said. “And of course to listen to fun music and be live and get credit for it.”
Because of the increase of enrollment in radio courses, Denevan said there is an easier reach to different departments on campus and more opportunities for students to get involved. He said he wants students to be involved with their radio station.
“We want to reach out to the student body in general,” Denevan said. “Our goal is anything that happens on campus, we want to talk about it. Is there a parade, a game, a club event or a dance? We want people to hear those announcements along with listening to good music, too.”
Whether it’s from the top charts or just a hit in studio, student DJs filter through loads of music every week to pick the best content they believe people will want to hear. Some current songs on the radio include “Skyfall” by Adele, “Sail” by Awolnation and “Va Va Voom” by Nicki Minaj.
Radio listeners can tune in to 91.3 the Storm FM or listen online at www.913thestorm.com through the HEAR tab by clicking on audio stream. Internet users can leave comments and watch DJs through live video streaming on the site.