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George Mason, a host of FM89's Clearly Classical, is a longtime presence on the airwaves of Central California, in both radio and television. George has spent the last 29 years here in the Valley, though he says he’s still thawing out after 40 years of Michigan and Ohio winters. He got his start as a cue card boy at age 16. Soon after, he took on a midnight on-air shift for a Detroit FM station. George later served in Vietnam, in 1967, and in Thailand in 1968.
His years working in radio, including time in Detroit in the mid-1960’s, would lead to opportunities in television, as he soon was doing weather for stations in Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio. George came to the Valley in 1983, when he took a job at KSEE, channel 24 in Fresno. It was that year that he began listening to Valley Public Radio as well. In Fresno, George would meet his wife, Toom, who now works as a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at VA Hospital in Fresno. “It is profoundly humbling what they know and do,” George shared.
George became a part of the FM89 team in 1990, when he began working as a night and weekend announcer. From 2000 until 2005, he was the station’s Morning Edition announcer, and since 2010 has been enjoying semi retirement, while doing some part-time announcing for the station. George says that when it comes to his past work in television news and weather, “I’m happy to put that identity behind me, with its requirement for suit and tie, makeup, anchor chit-chat, and having to smile at a camera when you sometimes don’t feel like it.” He enjoys the challenge of learning on the job, and feels that “you can never know enough about classical music composers and I find it impossible to understand how they could do what they did.”
Recorded broadcast performances by the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, airing every Wednesday night in November at 8:00 p.m.
Broadcast date: Wednesday November 6, 2013 – Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony; Rakoczy March by Berlioz; Piano Concerto in A Major by Grieg, with soloist Michael Brown
Broadcast date: Wednesday November 13, 2013 – Grand Canyon Suite by Grofe; Hector’s Return by Gunning; Dance of the Seven Veils by Richard Strauss; Francesca da Rimini by Tchaikovsky
Broadcast date: Wednesday November 20, 2013 – Carmaina Burana by Orff
Broadcast date: Wednesday November 27, 2013 – Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major by Brahms; Four Sea Interludes by Britten; Fanfare by Kerem