After an extensive nationwide search, WGBH’s Classical New England has selected Cheryl Willoughby to serve in the new position of Music Director, overseeing all classical music programming for the Boston public radio station.
Willoughby comes to WGBH from Vermont Public Radio, where she served as Music Director and Director of Programming for VPR Classical. She arrived there at the genesis of the station’s 24-hour classical music network and helped to shepherd VPR’s broadcast stations through their split into two distinct formats.
“We were delighted to find the next leader of classical music programming for WGBH right here in New England,” said Ben Roe, Managing Director of Classical Services. “Cheryl’s passion and knowledge for classical music is unmistakable, and her past work is superlative and inspiring. We’re thrilled she has chosen to share her expertise with us in this leadership role.”
Willoughby has a long history in classical music and public radio, beginning as on-air talent and producer at KUNC-FM in Northern Colorado. From 1993-1998 she was a producer and Assistant Music Director for Colorado Public Radio where she developed local and network music databases and hosted several programs.
In 1998, she joined KUSC-FM in Los Angeles as its Music Director where she created compelling and meaningful programming for the Classical Public Radio Network. In 2004, Willoughby joined Vermont Public Radio, where she supervised the classical staff while hosting a daily program and created partnerships with local arts venues and artist management companies. She was also integral in the development and implementation of VPR’s on-air fundraising strategy and project planning.
Of her new role at WGBH, Willoughby says, “Classical music is one of humanity’s greatest gifts, and WGBH has a long history of offering the New England community an opportunity to engage with this music in meaningful ways. Classical New England has a tremendous reputation for bringing the best of this beloved art form to audiences, and I feel incredibly privileged to take music programming at Classical New England to the next level.”
Willoughby is a former horn player and holds a BA degree from the School of the Performing and Visual Arts at the University of Northern Colorado.