Are We Not DJs?
What is a philosophy major doing behind the mic on WUNH 91.3 and singing at regional sporting events? The better question, says Alicia Jacobs, a senior from Hooksett, N.H., might be, “What better place for her?”
It’s hard to know where to begin with a multi-talent such as Jacobs, but a good place to start is the Verizon Center where she began singing the National Anthem at New Hampshire Fisher Cats and the Manchester Monarchs games in high school.
“I’m humbled by the experience of singing our national anthem,” says Jacobs. “The song is so powerful and it means so much to so many people. It’s about the song, not the singer. To get the job, you need to have the right balance of pushiness and politeness.”
As a result of her positive reputation, she eventually added the Portland Sea Dogs and UNH events to her list of clients. Liz Riley of the Sea Dogs says her organization appreciated Jacobs’ preparedness and laid back style, “a rare combination of characteristics that every good performer has.”
Back on campus, Jacobs’ professor, David Hiley, sees the same thing: “Alicia pursues all of her work with the same seriousness and enthusiasm – whether it’s philosophy, WUNH, or singing. It’s all deeply meaningful to her.”
Jacobs turned to philosophy after an introductory course hooked her.
“I was amazed to find out that I could have a major like philosophy that allows me to write, analyze and self-reflect,” she says. “Our classes are small and full of dialogue. I love it. We’re in class because we love the pursuit of learning.”
On the first day of existential philosophy, for example, Hiley asked his class what they knew about the subject. Jacobs volunteered, “It’s like the Devo song that says ‘Freedom of choice is what we got. Freedom from choice is what we want’.”
What’s the connection between music and philosophy? “For me,” Jacobs said, “The connection is between understanding and being understood.”
Jacobs explains that the classical music she listened to with her dad growing up was reflective. “Philosophy is like classical music. I’m not trying to be understood; I’m trying to understand. Performing the national anthem, popular music and working at WUNH are about being understood.”
Jacobs says she hopes that listeners feel that “they are understood” and that the station reflects UNH. “As a non-profit radio station, listeners can dictate the quantity and type of programming played,” says Jacobs.
Now through Saturday, Nov. 17, listeners are asked to support independent, commercial-free programming by making a donation. Funds help WUNH maintain and update studios, host community events and concerts, and provide the region with the best new music. Listeners can donate online at wunh.org or by calling (603) 862-2222.
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Written by Jennifer Pribble