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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

In 40 Years of KPAC, This One Thing Remains Constant

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There's me in 1996 during Pledge Drive, just a few things have changed, right?

Forty years ago this fall, KPAC began broadcasting at 90.9 on the FM dial. A simple idea, it took a herculean amount of planning and work to succeed. It was all thanks to a very forward-thinking group of San Antonio music lovers.

“I’ve got an idea that we need to get a radio station on the air and play classical music.”

B.J. McClain’s words to fellow KPAC founder Wilford Stapp continue to resonate in 2022 thanks to the generous support of donors who keep this music on the air.

There have been a lot of changes since that seemingly simple plan came to fruition...

Turntables gave way to compact disc players, and digital computer files for playback. Reel-to-reel machines were replaced in the 1990s by MiniDisc players and DAT tapes, then—you guessed it, digital recorders.

The station moved from 90.9 to its current home of 88.3 FM when its broadcast power was increased.

Performers, conductors, and hosts have come and gone.

What remains constant in these last four decades is KPAC has remained a great place to find solace, comfort, inspiration, and renewal after the news of the day gets to be too much to bear.

It’s a primary destination for thousands of loyal listeners who enjoy the connections classical music makes with history and culture around the world. And Texas Public Radio’s KPAC is also part of the artistic ecology of San Antonio, helping to tell the stories of musicians that live, work, and teach in our community. What truly sets KPAC apart from other stations though is the simple fact that we see our audience as our community to serve, not consumers to sell to.

We’ll continue to serve you with musical discovery, warm companionship, and an oasis of comfort and joy as long as you continue to invest in KPAC.

Help us continue to grow and ensure that everyone has access to the experience of classical music right here in South Texas with your gift today.

Any amount helps make sure our resources are at full strength, but in this 40th anniversary year, I invite you to honor the founders of KPAC with a gift of one dollar a day – join the McClain Circle, so-named in honor of the late B.J. McClain, and keep the music playing.

Thank you,

Nathan Cone

Nathan has been with TPR since 1995, when he began working on classical music station KPAC 88.3 FM, as host of “Tuesday Night at the Opera.” He soon learned the ropes on KSTX 89.1 FM, and volunteered to work practically any shift that came his way, on either station. He worked in nearly every capacity on the radio before moving into Community Engagement, Marketing, and Digital Media. His reporting and criticism has been honored by the Houston Press Club and Texas Associated Press.