Listening to FM Radio While Driving
What is that Composition?

After retiring from Stanford University, we moved north from Silicon Valley to Chico, CA where Bill taught for 5 years at California State University. Having lived in an urban environment for many years (population of one million plus), it was exciting to once again reside in a more rural, primarily agricultural, area with a much smaller population.

Because our daughter and family continued to call the San Jose, California area home, we would frequently drive the 3+ hours south through almond groves and waving grain fields to visit. While I was never one to greatly enjoy background music while driving, but would rather spend the time in conversation, on one trip our car was filled with music from a Bay Area FM radio station. The program was playing some 20th-century choral masterwork and we listened. I vaguely recognized the composition but couldn't positively recall either the composer or the title of the work.

As we were winding through the hills approaching San Jose, I was concerned that the terrain might cause us to lose the radio signal and was anxious that we listen to the composition's end so that I could refresh my memory of both the composer and the musical selection. We were very fortunate that both the topography and the weather cooperated, and when the composition concluded, the announcer revealed the composer, the composition, and the performers.

Memory once again fails me and we can't remember the name of the piece, but we do vividly remember the surprise and shock when we heard the announcer proclaim "...William Ramsey, conductor."

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