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St. Andrews-Sewanee Garner Broadcast Awards

Posted on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 1:07 pm

St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School’s student-run radio station WMTN-LP recently submitted files for nomination in a national radio contest open only to high school radio stations.

“The Drury Awards,” named after John Drury, was created in 2002 and was founded to promote excellence in, and support for, high school broadcasters and their radio stations. There are approximately 150 high school radio stations in the nation, and St. Andrew’s-Sewanee is one of only four stations in Tennessee.

In the 2022-2023 school year, the students created over 100 original audio works for broadcast. Among these students hosted dozens of talk and music shows, including an interview-style show with the school’s headmaster, Karl Sjolund, and DJ’ed hundreds of hours of live music and talk shows. Ankney, the faculty sponsor, learned of the national contest and worked with students to submit entries to a panel of nationally recognized radio personalities and programmers. In May of 2023, WMTN radio submitted over 40 entries in nine categories ranging from Best DJ, Best Talk Show, Best Radio Drama, to Best Live Sportscast. On August 14, the school learned that nine students had received four nominations from the judging panel of experts.

The students and their work nominated include:

  • Best Specialty Music Show- Kenneth Simmons ‘22, Music From Another Time
  • Best Podcast- Cameo Smith ‘24 & Kendall Elder ‘25, Sun & Moon Podcast-Episode 2
  • Best Radio Drama- Luke Baird ‘23, Thomas Billups ‘23, Elliott Boyd ‘23, Kendall Elder ‘25, Charlie Relford ‘24, Cameo Smith ‘24, and Reagan Vaughn ‘23. The Lodger
  • Best Talk Show (non-sports) – Thomas Billups ‘23, Elliott Boyd ‘23, Kendall Elder ‘25, and Cameo Smith ’24 Ask Elliott-Episode 6-The “Holiday Edition”

Ankney had this to say about the nominations “We have some of the very best student broadcasters in the country right here at WMTN radio, and I’m proud that they were recognized for their hard work, dedication, and excellence in high school broadcasting. It is a great honor to receive these nominations in our very first year of expanded programming, and I’m excited to see where we can go in the future.”

WMTN-LP was founded in 2002 by Sewanee Military Academy graduate Bayard Walters, class of 1959. “Bud’s” vision for a station at St. Andrew’s-Sewanee school finally hit the airwaves in April of 2004 and has been broadcasting continuously over the airwaves, and more recently streaming on sasradio.org.

In 2021, J.R. Ankney was appointed faculty sponsor and began a vigorous push to modernize and reinvigorate the program by creating a class, an afternoon program, and inviting students to create original music shows, radio dramas, and podcasts, as well as learning about being a Disc Jockey (DJ.)

The winners in each category will be announced at the luncheon and award ceremony on November 4 at North Central College, Naperville. The awards ceremony will also be live-streamed.

The Marion Tribune – September 14, 2023