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Classical Host Marcia Higginson to Retire After 20 Years in Radio


Written by Bella Koscal, KPR Intern

Long-time KPR listeners know the name Marcia Higginson. Since 2019, Higginson has been the host of evening classical and prior was a volunteer host for a decade. Now after many hours of careful curation and evenings filled with pensive playlists, Marcia Higginson is retiring at the end of July.

“I love spending time and sharing music with listeners,” says Higginson. “Radio is a companion like no other, and the shared listening experience builds a community like no other. I get a kick out of exploring music and creating a program that flows well, offers variety, and has the power to ‘take people through their evening.”

Her KANU career is thanks to one fateful day in 1983, when Higginson saw a newspaper ad seeking a classical announcer at KANU.

“I’d love to go back and find that ad because it sure changed my life,” said Higginson. “I was a music history grad student at KU with a lot of growing knowledge in music but very little radio experience. With one broadcasting class under my belt and Darrell [Brogdon]’s patient tutoring, I discovered the perfect professional outlet for my skills and knowledge.”

But Higginson’s dedication to music doesn’t stop at public radio. In addition to her years of service at KPR, Higginson has been a valued member of Kansas’s music education system. For more than 10 years she was Assistant Director of Allegro Community Children’s Choir and served as a music teacher in Hays, Kan.

When reflecting on her time at KPR she remarked how fortunate she feels to have been part of the team that makes the radio programming happen.

“I’ve been extremely lucky to work with the small and mighty staff that is the KPR team. I owe this experience to Darrell Brogdon in particular, who has pulled me in as a volunteer and hired me twice in his long-standing role as program director.”

“I believe that KPR offers a service that many people value, depend on, and love. Being part of this team has been wonderfully satisfying. I’m particularly proud of the way the KPR staff worked together-and apart-during the pandemic to maintain great production values while we scrambled to provide our listeners with the programs they needed. Individuals on this team, whether they serve in programming, news, development, engineering or administration, are also fascinating people who make great friends.”

After a career well served, we are thankful for the time and care Marcia has put into KPR and wish her the best in retirement, during which she plans to cruise Greece with her husband, Hannes, and maybe read a biography or two.