Meet New Classical 101 Afternoon Host Kent Teeters

May 21, 2018

You may have noticed a new voice on the air here at Classical 101. Here's a little introduction to our new afternoon host, Kent Teeters.

Kent comes to Columbus from Sacramento, California — although he's a Midwestern boy from Indiana originally. Public radio has taken him across the country, with hosting gigs in Illinois, Louisiana, Indiana, California and Ohio (twice).

To help you get to know your new afternoon companion a little better, I sat down with Kent and asked a few questions about his background and interests.

Was your family musical?

Not really, other than singing in church. And my grandmother had an old piano that was usually out of tune.

So what was your gateway into music?

My parents belonged to a record club, so they had LPs. I remember Van Cliburn playing Chopin, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops, and some Al Hirt.

My brother played saxophone in band, and also the drums. In sixth grade, I started playing trumpet at school and later moved to horn, which is where I stayed.

What other careers did you consider?

I always knew it would be some form of music — maybe a music teacher or a rock drummer.

Kent poses for a photo in his office.

I did teach music for a while. And I played in some regional orchestras, but it always seemed like the French horn played me more than I played it!

Do you have a favorite composer?

Hmmm, it depends on how I want to feel.

For intellectual stimulation, it would be Bach. When I want to feel and think about life, a Mahler symphony. And when I need a positive outlook, Mozart or some other composer from the classical period.

If you could see any artist — living or dead — in concert, who would it be?

In the classical world, it would be Dennis Brain. His recordings are wonderful. He was a great French horn player who died far too young.

There are stories that he used to always have a car magazine on the stand along with his music. Unfortunately, it was that love of fast cars that ultimately killed him.

Otherwise, John Coltrane — particularly the early quintet with Miles Davis. That would be a gas!

What other kinds of music do you listen to? If we got in your car right now, what would you have cranked up?

In the car, I'd likely be listening to NPR since I listen to classical all day at work.

As far as other music, I love Bebop, old jazz from the '50s and '60s. Coltrane, Miles Davis, Horace Silver. I also enjoy singer-songwriters like Paul Simon and James Taylor.

Kent's dog, Bella

What's the most enjoyable part of your job?

Being on air. It's a lot like being a performer. I really enjoy sharing and talking about music.

What do you like to do outside of work?

My wife and I enjoy food and travel. Our dog, Bella, is always up for a trip, so we like to pick a road and drive through the country. And I like to cook, so I like to try my hand at ethnic cuisines.

You've lived in Ohio before. What do you like about it?

The four seasons I grew up with. I like snow. And my wife is from Alaska, so she really likes snow. There's not a lot of snow in the Central Valley of California! Or rain.

And I really missed lightning bugs.