Behind the Music: UpStream Radio

By Harley Ryan 

Have you heard about Shenandoah University’s (SU) radio station? Shenandoah station, Upstream, was created by an arts management class in spring 2011 by Curt Lockhart, Nate McDowell, and Jake Stover. Professor Ricki Marion assigned his class a project to generate a plan that could drastically help the student body. The guys decided to make a radio station for their project and they began to lay the groundwork for UpStream Radio.


Photo by Harley Ryan

The three arts management students recruited the help from Music Production and Recording Technology majors Daniel Kelling and Hayden Olmsted. Lockhart explained, “Daniel and Hayden may not have been in the class, but Nate and Hayden had this idea weighing heavily on their minds early on in their college careers, and this class just ignited that fire even more and Daniel was our technology guru.” Now with their drive stronger than ever, they began the long journey to producing their dreams.

Daniel and Hayden researched the equipment required to start the radio station which was needed for their proposal.  Kelling, McDowell, and Olmsted spent their summers studying the software so they could teach it to students and staff interested in the radio. The final piece of the puzzle was to put a name to the face. Lockhart stated, “We noticed that our campus was surrounded by many moving bodies of water with Abrams Creek and the Shenandoah River being close by so we wanted something dealing with water in the name, hence ‘stream’, but we got the ‘up’ portion because a majority of the music we wanted to play was up-and-coming artists, thus creating UpStream Radio.”


Photo by Harley Ryan

In the basement of the Brandt Student Center music began to spread throughout the campus and into the students’ ears. The station began with only have one show each weeknight from 9 p.m. – 11 p.m. Lockhart remembers them having the following shows:

-Women-Only (This was only women singers and bands that showcased women instrumentalists.) 
-Metal Night  
-Punk Night
-Random mix with Greg Brown and Robin Rhodes (all over the place from classical to indie)
-An Appalachian music show that would regularly play live or brings bands into the studio

UpStream live-streamed events and concerts on the weekends. As word got out of the student run radio station on campus they became more and more popular with having up to 150 listeners or more on the weekends and music playing from eleven in the morning to eleven at night.


Professor Joachim Schimacher in the Upstream’s studio.

Upstream began to fade away once the founders graduated. Nearly four years later, UpStream is trying to make a comeback and strive to be what it once was in 2011. Mass Communications professor Joachim Schirmacher was enlisted to help put the radio station back together again. For a year, he has been working with students to get UpStream streaming again. Lockhart couldn’t have said this any better, “It is truly a treasure that we have a university that gives students the opportunity to explore their ideas and makes sure that their students are actively heard.” SU is giving you the opportunity and freedom to have your voices heard, so take charge and let the students hear what you have to say. 

If you are interested in producing a show contact Joachim Schirmacher at In the email you should include an outline for the concept of your show (what you want to play and what time slot you would like).


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s