George Mason

On-air host, Clearly Classical

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.”

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio / White Ash Broadcasting

This week on Young Artists Spotlight we feature three talented violin soloists who are all part of the Youth Orchestras of Fresno program. We'll hear performances by: 

Aidan Coleman, 13, violin: Gigue from Veracini Sonata in D Minor 

Emilea Okayasu, 12, violin, Beriot concerto, first movement

Benjamin Pegram, 12, violin: Saint-Saens concerto, first movement

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Today on Young Artists Spotlight we feature University High School (Fresno) student Phillip Teng. A student of piano instructor Carol Oaks. A gifted pianist Phillip says he hopes to pursue a career in bio-medicine. During his live performance on FM89, he played music by Bach, Chopin and Muczynski. 

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

A group of 15 guitarists paid a visit to Young Artist Spotlight this week. The Lindsay High School Guitars, directed by Nancy Wills, is a top-notch group of high school musicians that perform around the region. The group is made up of beginning, intermediate and advanced guitarists. 


Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Today on Young Artists Spotlight we feature the talented students of Tulare County. All of the soloists on today's program come to us from the Tulare County Youth Symphony. We hear flute, piano, cello and violin soloists, as well as a flute duo on this broadcast. 

Today's performers:

Anindita Rajasekaran - flute solo

Kiley Greenwood - cello solo

Lana Bidi - piano solo

Ginelle Sunio - violin solo

Ashley Linder & Michaela Almberg - flute duo

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

To begin the 2016 edition of Young Artists Spotlight, we celebrate the majesty of the cello with two talented young musicians. Both Keegan Bamford and Emma Hill are students of Fresno State professor Dr. Thomas Lowenheim and are members of the Youth Orchestras of Fresno. Keegan attends Fresno's University High School, while Emma is studying at Clovis West. They both perform on FM89 with pianist Hatem Nadim.

Support for Young Artists Spotlight comes from the Bonner Family Foundation, Dr. Alice Martinson and Carole Sturgis. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This week we close the 2015 season of Young Artists Spotlight with a performance from the Lindsay Guitars of Lindsay High School in Tulare County. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This week on Young Artists Spotlight we hear performances by Sandro Lado and Tiffanie Trujillo, with their accompanist Dr. Alan Rea. Sandro and Tiffanie were two of the total 11 award winners in this year’s Fresno Musical Club competition. Sandro completed his Master’s degree in Violin Performance at Sacramento State University and has his eye on entrance into a doctoral program — Temple University as first choice. Tiffany graduated early from high school and is now a junior at California State University, Fresno, majoring in Vocal Performance and studying with Dr. Anthony Radford.

This week on FM89's  Young Artists Spotlight we hear more performances from groups associated with the Youth Orchestras of Fresno. As a saxophone quartet, Bach ensemble and trombone choir, Youth Orchestras of Fresno musicians this time included Juliet Fang, her brother Jesse Fang, Larry Zhao and his brother Luke Zhao, Camden Oltjenbruns, Logan Howell, Trevor Van de Velde, Josh Clarin, Ethan Santos, Kabir Khera, Michael Neufeld, Larry Shin and Conner Sanchez.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

This week on Young Artists Spotlight a performance from five talented soloists from Tulare County.

George Mason / Valley Public Radio

Dana Peck, home-schooled in Bakersfield, began studying harp at age 11.  For two years she has been the principal (and only) harpist with the Bakersfield Youth Symphony Orchestra, which tours England and Scotland beginning March 26.  For the past three years, Dana has studied in the Fine Arts Summer Academy, which gave her the opportunity to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. She has played under conductors Kyunghun Kim and Jung Ho Park. And studying with a teacher in Southern California, Dana was able to strum the strings of Harpo Marx’s harp!