Oct 7, 2011

WVTF Music Director Seth Williamson dies

Music Director Seth Williamson, who had been with WVTF in Roanoke, Va., since October 1983, died Thursday night (Oct. 6) at Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg, Va., following surgery. He was 62.

Williamson hosted the daily Morning Classics program as well as the weekly Back to the Blue Ridge, focusing on the traditional acoustic music of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

"On the air, Seth was never simply an announcer,” said WVTF General Manager Glenn Gleixner in a statement. “Rather, he was really talking with his friends — about about music, life and nature. He was deeply connected with his audience and that's how he saw radio, as a personal connection with listeners."

Williamson was also an accomplished musician himself, playing trumpet, euphonium, trombone and bluegrass banjo. He often played with the Sauerkraut Band, a German group known for local Oktoberfest performances.

WVTF announcer and composer Steve Brown frequently wrote music for Williamson. "It was such a delight to compose for his euphonium, knowing how happy he would be to play it,” Brown said. “He always knew how to have fun with each piece.”

Brown will host an on-air musical tribute from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 12, featuring the music that Williamson enjoyed sharing with his thousands of listeners throughout the years.

Funeral arrangements are pending. (Image: WVTF)

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