Cheryl Dring

Classical 101 Program Director

Classical 101 Program Director Cheryl Dring moved to Columbus in 2016, having worked in public radio since college. With stops in Austin, Madison, Dayton, Sacramento, New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport, Louisiana, she has seen much of the country through the lens of public radio and local arts.

“While every community is different in some ways, what every station I’ve worked for has in common is the passion its listeners share for the music — and their commitment to having a local home for it on the radio,” Cheryl said. 

A lifelong bookworm, Cheryl headed off to college in Louisiana with the idea of becoming an English professor. Music soon took over, though, and the English major wound up getting a degree in vocal performance instead. Touring the world with her college choir stoked a love for travel and a curiosity about the world, both of which continue to this day.

She earned a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from Louisiana State University, studying with the renowned Verdi soprano Martina Arroyo.

So, what do you do with a couple of music degrees and years of training in languages and writing? Well, classical music radio makes a lot of sense! What had been a part-time job during college and grad school eventually became a career path.

“People who’ve known me all my life are just glad I found a career in which talking is actually a job skill!” Cheryl said.

When not making radio, Cheryl enjoys gardening, cooking, exploring new restaurants, looking at historic homes and trying to keep up with the friends she has made across the country.

Ways to Connect

Earlier this year, Classical 101 and the Columbus Museum of Art collaborated for Portraits of Langston, a program featuring music by composers Valerie Coleman and William Grant Still. This weekend, Classical 101 is broadcasting some highlights from that concert.

We just can't resist when puns are involved.

Apollos Fire YouTube channel

Amidst all the excellent recordings that received Grammy Awards this past weekend, an Ohio favorite ensemble took top honors in an important category. 

color photo of augusta savage sculpture called gamin
Smithsonian American Art Museum

All around the city, Columbus has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance in a big way.

As the commemorative events draw to a close later this month, Classical 101 and the Columbus Museum of Art are joining forces Saturday, Jan. 12 for Portraits of Langston, a program featuring music by two groundbreaking composers – one contemporary, one historical.

When I was a teenager, my favorite time during the holidays was after everyone else had gone to bed and I could sit up late, with only the twinkling of the Christmas tree for light.

Negative Space /

Our hosts listen to a lot of music so, as you can imagine, we often turn to some of our favorite recordings at gift-giving time.

There’s a lot to like about the holidays – good food, gift-giving (and receiving!), time spent with friends and cherished family traditions. But one of the best things about the Christmas season is the music.

Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media

Classical music radio listeners in Minnesota and around the country got a bit of sad news recently. John Zech, morning host on Minnesota Public Radio and producer of Composers Datebook (heard on Classical 101 and other stations), has announced he is stepping away from radio. 

Westerville Symphony /

A man makes a deal with the devil and, for a time, thinks he has won.

stevepb / Pixabay

Home to Classical 101, WOSU Public Media also encompasses 89.7 NPR News, WOSU TV, WOSU Classroom and more.

We thought it would be fun to ask our WOSU coworkers to tell us about their favorite classical music works. It’s always exciting to see what door people find into the genre.

Library of Congress /

For the 1961 movie West Side Story, composer Leonard Bernstein was not the conductor. 

University of Minnesota Institute of Advanced Studies / U.S. National Guard

For East Germans, the Berlin Wall wasn't just a vast, 96-mile structure — it represented what they called "the wall in the head," a looming feeling of no escape and no hope.

If you've noticed some differences in the programs on Classical 101 the last few days, there's a reason.

black-and-white photo of a young Leonard Bernstein at a piano, marking a score
Al Ravenna / Library of Congress

If all you know of Leonard Bernstein is the thrilling music from West Side Story, you’re in for an eye-opening summer.

Bernstein was a groundbreaking composer, conductor, mentor and educator. At a time when classical music was often spoken of in measured, reverent tones, Bernstein was passionate, outspoken and sometimes controversial.


Music for summer — you probably think of Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons, maybe George Frideric Handel's Water Music or Summer Night on the River by Frederick Delius. Estimable choices, all.

But there's a world of work by less-familiar composers who wrote amazingly evocative music that captures the lazy, languid days and nights of summer.