October MD of the Month:

Sydney Rock

WPRK 91.5 FM Winter Park, FL

Listen to NACC's MD Takeover on Spotify!

Tell us about WPRK. How did it get started and how did you first hear about it?
WPRK, the student ran radio station at Rollins College was founded in 1952 and is the oldest college radio station in Florida. Rollins is located outside of Orlando and is a small liberal arts school. WPRK started out as a classic station and did not start broadcasting 24/7 until the mid-90s when student-staffed worked to make sure WPRK was on air all day and night. I first heard about WPRK through my older brother, who was working at the station when I was a freshman, and the Music Directors at the time asked me to volunteer and grade some CDs for them.
How long have you been at WPRK? What is your history there?
This is my fourth year at WPRK. I’ve been working on staff all four years, the past two years I was Station Manager. This is my first year as Music Director and it’s the most fun job I have ever had. In the past, I’ve had the roles of Programming Director, Assistant Music Director and Station Manager which have all helped me gain so much knowledge about the station.
How do you get your DJs interested in the new music you are sent and what is the process you go through in deciding what gets add and played there?
I send out weekly email blasts, create desktop backgrounds that have a list of albums we recommend that week, and I add songs from our favorite albums to our Automation system and have a specific folder for DJs to pick new songs from. I review the majority of albums we get sent and add about 90% of what we get sent. Since WPRK is a freeform station, we accept music from any/all genres, as we also have at least one DJ who will play that type of music. I also email or chat with individual DJs when I get albums that I think they would really like or would fit their format well.
What has been your favorite release of 2019 thus far?
Tied between Maggie Roger’s Heard It In A Past Life and Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride.
Do you have a favorite artist or album you never get tired of listening to?
I could listen to Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt forever and probably never get tired of it.
Which artist/band has put on the best show you’ve ever seen live?
I saw Dermot Kennedy perform a church at SXSW 2017 and his voice was so insanely good it brought me and everyone around me to tears.
Who is an artist or band outside the realm of what your station plays that people might be surprised to know you love?
I love DEVO and nobody in the office believes when I tell them.
What is your best childhood memory?
Growing up, every summer my grandfather would take my brothers and me up to Gettysburg, Pennslyvania to visit the battlefield where the Civil War was fought during reenactment week. It was always so cool, we got to run around the Battlefields and climb the watchtowers, and the actors get really into it and it was always so much fun.
What event in your life would you say has shaped you the most as a person?
I think starting college and learning how to be more independent and take on a lot of responsibility has helped shaped me into who I am today.
If you could choose, what time period in the past would you most want to travel back to and visit?
I would want to travel back to 1991 to attend one of the shows Sonic Youth, Nirvana and Hole were playing together after Dave Grohl joined Nirvana.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in town that you always make sure to take guests/visitors to?
I also take visitors to an Asian-fusion placed in called Domu, which has the best ramen in town.
What in your life brings you the most joy?
I recently got a puppy, so he is the best thing in my life.
Lightning Round:
Dog or Cat?  Dog Morning Person or Night Owl?  Night owl City or Country?  City Beach or Mountains?  Mountains Watch TV or Read A Book?  Read a book Sunny or Rainy?  Sunny Dine or Delivery?  Dine Beard or Clean Shaven?  Can’t really speak on that one Pants or Shorts?  Shorts
Do you have any current favorite TV show obsessions?
The Great British Bake Off and Bojack Horseman.
Finally, and most importantly… since it’s October, what is your favorite costume you’ve ever worn for Halloween?
A friend and I dressed up as Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World, I was Garth.