Meet the Hosts

20130619_headshot_bruce_paulsenBruce Paulsen
Bruce Paulsen hosts your morning drive time Classic Choices program weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m.  With degrees in music and theatre, Bruce has performed with many of the great musicians of our time. He brings more than thirty years’ performance experience to the microphone. WCNY is his second expedition into radio. Before this, he hosted opera programs and weekends for WGKA, Atlanta’s Voice of the Arts.

Diane Jones
Diane Jones is your mid-day host weekdays from 10 am to 2 pm.  An active composer, she has received commissions from nationally and internationally-recognized musicians and ensembles, as well as completing 5 residencies in Syracuse area schools, introducing young musicians to composition.  Diane performs regularly with Samba Laranja and the Central New York Flute Choir, and her music has been featured on two SAMMY-award winning CDs.  Follow Diane on Twitter (@ComposerJones) and Facebook (PetDragonMusic) for more about her programming and her music.

20130619_headshot_jim_marie_lambMarie Lamb
Marie Lamb, ClassicFM announcer from 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays and host of Saturday Opera, Part 2 is a Central New York native and a graduate of the Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University. Marie began in radio as the host of classical and opera programs at WIKE-AM, at the former Eisenhower College in Seneca Falls. She also hosted a daily jazz program for many years at WAER-FM in Syracuse. Marie began at Classic FM in 2002 as a board operator. Her duties have expanded over the years to include announcing, production, interviews, and running WCNY’s ReadOut radio reading service, which serves the blind, visually impaired, and people with other conditions that limit their use of print. Aside from her work at WCNY, Marie is the host of the award-winning “DXing with Cumbre” program for fans of international radio, which is heard on shortwave and as a podcast.



Adam Fine
Adam Fine hosts Classic Choices Saturday and Sunday mornings from 7-11am and Mondays from 2-7pm. He is also the host of Classically Jewish, a weekly show exploring Jewish influences in classical music. Adam brings an extensive performance background as an actor, singer, and conductor in both opera and music theater to the microphone. A former music teacher, he has studied music education, composition, and conducting at both Northwestern and Syracuse Universities. Adam performs regularly with Syracuse Opera and has also sung with Oswego Opera Theater and Syracuse Vocal Ensemble.


jonathan hwang2Jonathan Hwang
Jonathan Hwang hosts your morning drive time Classic Choices program on Mondays from 6 to 10 a.m. Jonathan is a professional violinist, holding his Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, and his Masters from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. Jonathan is currently a member of Symphoria, the Syracuse area’s symphony orchestra. He has eleven years of performance experience, associated with a number of orchestras and music festivals.


Spencer PhillipsSpencer Phillips
Spencer Phillips hosts your morning drive time Classic Choices program on Wednesdays from 6 to 10 a.m. Spencer is a professional musician, currently the Principal Double Bassist for Symphoria, the Syracuse area’s symphony orchestra. He is also the orchestra’s music librarian. Spencer holds multiple degrees in Music Performance, including a Bachelor’s from Michigan State University, a Master’s from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Doctorate from the Eastman School of Music. He has been associated with several orchestras since 1999. He also has significant teaching experience.


20130619_headshot_leo_rayhillLeo Rayhill
Leo Rayhill has been the host of The Sounds of Jazz since 1961 and the program has been broadcast on WCNY-FM since the station signed on in 1971.  Rayhill is also the host of Classic Sinatra, a weekly program devoted to the music of  Frank Sinatra.  Both shows air on Classic FM and are available daily WCNY’s Jazz HD station.  A Central New York native, Leo is a graduate of Hamilton College.



20130619_headshot_neva_pilgrimNeva Pilgrim
A graduate of Hamline and Yale, Pilgrim is a professional singer and recording artist. She is also a founding member of the Society for New Music and its educational programs, concerts and operas the organization sponsors. Having concertized throughout the U.S. and abroad with such conductors as Boulez and Keene, Neva has been artist-in-residence at Colgate University for many years. Pilgrim garnered numerous awards, most recently CMM’s Lifetime Achievement for outstanding contribution by a musician to the community.



20130619_headshot_bill_knowltonBill Knowlton
Dubbed by some as “Mr. Bluegrass of Central New York”, Bill hosted the first all-bluegrass radio show in New York City in 1960. Coming to Syracuse as a US Air Force Public Affairs Officer, Bill started the “Bluegrass Ramble” on WCNY-FM in January 1973. In 1997, Bill was named “Broadcast Personality of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association. He emcees at least 13 bluegrass festivals every year and writes liner notes for bluegrass and old-time country music artists. Bill is a resident of Liverpool.



Joey NigroJoey Nigro
Joey Nigro has been entertaining audiences as a singer most of her life in musicals, clubs, concerts and cabaret performances. Her recordings and original songs have been featured on numerous radio and CD compilations. After graduating from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Communications with a degree in journalism, Joey worked in New York City before returning to Central New York. She was raised on Syracuse’s old North Side Italian American Community where she began interviewing immigrant forbears and second-generation Italian Americans in her family and writing about growing up Italian American. She is a charter trustee of the Landmark Theatre and has worked in workforce development for more than 30 years.



20130619_headshot_jim_battagliaJim Battaglia
Jim Battaglia was born in the Southern province of Calabria and raised in an Italian American enclave on Syracuse’s Near Westside, where his parents established their home when he was two and a half years old. He is fluent in his first language, the Italian Calebrese dialect, and has toured Italy many times. He and his wife, Francine, have vacationed worldwide and are frequent visitors to his birthplace, the coastal village in Calabria. Jim graduated from CCBI with a degree in business and has been manager of Nojaim’s Market on the Near Westside for more than 40 years. He is Vice President of the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame.