Dialing In


Photo by Grace Frye

KTRU is a Trinity-owned radio channel that began streaming to the San Antonio community in 1976. It broadcasts jazz music throughout the day, but has an Indie Overnight program from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Two Trinity juniors, Mary Feit and Sidney Hopkins, host “Burnin’ Down the House” on Indie Overnight, which airs every early Wednesday morning from 12 a.m. to 1 a.m.

All radio programs are run by Trinity students under the supervision of the KRTU professional staff. It’s a nonprofit and noncommercial organization that prioritizes education. Students can register for and take “COMM-1120 Apprentice: KRTU Host/Trainee” which allows them to become interns where they can then produce, manage, develop or even host a show.

Feit and Hopkins are products of this apprenticeship.

“Mary and I both took the KRTU class in the comm section and loved it,” Hopkins said. “We did one live show together and really enjoyed it and asked our instructor Kory Cook if we could have a show.”

“Burnin’ Down the House” is now a weekly show.

“The name comes from the first time Sidney and I were in the studio. We were so nervous. Sidney had this irrational fear that we would burn down KRTU,” Feit said.

The hour-long show consists of nonstop Indie music as well as knowledge about the bands whose songs Feit and Hopkins play.

“We mostly talk about any experiences or information we have with/on the bands we’re playing,” Hopkins said.

“We are pretty normal radio DJs, announcing the name of the song and the artist. I like to tell people if the band is in town or if we can expect new music soon. Sometimes, I’ll talk about seeing the artist live or how I discovered the song/band. I try to add in something extra so that it’s not just “˜here’s what you heard and here’s what you will hear,'” Feit said.

This show is a way for both of them to share their love and passion for indie music, as well as discover new areas within the genre.

“Mary and I have really differing tastes in indie music “” she listens to more of an upbeat beach-y feel, while my indie taste is really angsty. We switch around sometimes, but I absolutely love coming in and seeing what Mary’s put on the playlist,” Hopkins said.  

Feit and Hopkins want to expand their show.

“I want to hopefully add another day of the week,” Hopkins said. “One of my goals is to continue this show for the rest of my Trinity career. I really look forward to doing it every week. In fact, sometimes I wish we had more than an hour because I love playing my music,” Feit said.

As well as having future goals for “Burnin’ Down the House,” Feit and Hopkins want students to get a taste of indie music.

“I’d like for them to have a good variety of indie music to listen to while staying up late maybe doing extra homework or just relaxing,” Hopkins said.

“I personally hope that our listeners just enjoy an hour of music. Every show, Sidney and I fill our hour with music we actually listen to. If people use our show to discover new music, that’s cool too,” Feit said.

Because Feit and Hopkins both discovered their passion for radio and now have an opportunity to share it, it’s clear that there’s an advantage to having hands-on experience that caters directly to a specific career.

“Before the KRTU class I’d never considered being on the radio before, but this is something I’d definitely consider as a career path,” Hopkins said.

Feit also sees radio in her future.

“I want to pursue a career in radio. While this show is more music focused, it’s still something that I enjoy doing. That helps me know I’m on the right path,” Feit said.

To listen to the livestream, you can go to the KRTU website, www.krtuindie.org, or tune into 91.7 FM.