The Glenbard West Radio Club: Its Opportunities and Future


Cartoon of Mr. Wiersum writing the Centennial and jockeying on the Radio. Drawn by Will Lafontaine.

The Glenbard West Radio–WGHS–is back in town, but what does this club really do? That story starts with Mr. Wiersum, the club’s sponsor and founder. The known history buff and English teacher had always been interested in getting the club started. However, as Wiersum points out, the “old [station] was 88.5 and didn’t reach very far.” He wanted to do things bigger and better: “Why limit yourself to a mile?”. Yet, accomplishing that task was difficult for Mr. Wiersum, until an alumnus named Tony Rio, a professional engineer, “put the final pieces together.” The WGHS officially went on air this past January!

Things finally picked up for the club and students began rolling in. This is when Tristen Shilling–a Glenbard West senior–entered the story. She recalls being “the first person Mr. Wiersum asked to [help] get the club started back up.” And help she did, creating the song catalog, conducting interviews, and making voice tracks. 

These voice tracks are at the heart of WGHS; they are what make the station uniquely West’s. To a novice, voice tracking can seem daunting. However, it’s a lot less intimidating when you realize what the process is like. Mr. Wiersum describes it simply as “listening to the outgoing song, putting in your voice, and then playing the incoming song.” It’s a short process that can be done in “just around 10 minutes” whether you’re “in the recording booth or at home.”

The future of the club is bright. Expanding out of just voice tracks and moving into sportscasting seems to be at the top of the list for Wiersum, “It would be so cool to hear these sports [like] football, basketball, hockey.” Tristen has her sights set on getting new members and more publicity, saying, “You can do voice tracking, interviews, social media, programming, and picking out songs.” There is truly space in radio for anyone with any type of passion. The club holds exciting opportunities for everyone and gives you the chance to hear your voice on air!