by James Heine
“I love classical music, and I love CLASSIC99,” says Karen Andersen, a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Olivette, a suburb of St. Louis. “Music has always been a big part of my life, and CLASSIC99 provides something that’s available nowhere else. Every radio in our house—and I think we have five of them—and even my car radio is tuned to CLASSIC99.
An independent marketing consultant and the circulation manager for the LWML’s “Quarterly” magazine, Andersen and her husband, Tom, home-school their three children, ages 13, 11, and 9. Not only does KFUO/CLASSIC99 provide good listening throughout the day, it also provides “educational moments,” Andersen says.
“All of our children take piano lessons. Sometimes, when we hear something on CLASSIC99, they will say, ‘Hey, I know that!’ or I ask, ‘Do you recognize that piece? That’s what you’re learning to play.’”
She cherishes the focus on local programming, Andersen adds. “We like ‘Classic Kids’ and we listen to it regularly. I find it a good teaching tool. Through CLASSIC99 we also discover other educational opportunities—places to visit, art exhibitions to see, concerts to attend.”
Andersen’s love of music comes from her parents, “especially my father, who taught me about classical music,” she recalls. “When I was growing up, there was always classical or big band or songs from Broadway musicals—with the original Broadway casts—playing on 33 records in our house. I still recall the order of the music on many of the records, and I expect to hear the next selection on the record when I hear one of the songs on the radio.”
Saturday evening’s “Broadway Spotlight” is a particular favorite, Andersen says. “It brings back fond memories of time spent with my dad.”
CLASSIC99 also offers peace of mind in the unruly world of contemporary media, Andersen notes. “At least on CLASSIC99, I can be sure that my kids won’t be hearing things that, as children, they probably shouldn’t hear.”
In a broader context, CLASSIC99 offers the church an opportunity to take its place in the public square, serve its neighbors, and participate joyfully in the life of the community, Andersen says.
With the advent of streaming, she can now add kfuoam.org to her choice of stations, Andersen adds. “Even though we live in the area, we can’t always pick up the AM signal at home.”
“The ministry of CLASSIC99 and AM 850 present the church at its best,” says Rev. Tom Ries, president of the LCMS Foundation. “Certainly, CLASSIC99 presents an appreciation for the gift of classical music. To have our church and our name associated with that is a tremendous presentation of the ministry of the whole church. AM 850’s core mission is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and KFUO-AM and CLASSIC99 work hand-in-hand together to do that.”