In memoriam: Seth Williamson, alumnus, WVTF announcer, host of 'Morning Classics'
October 10, 2011
Editor's note: Visitation arrangements for Seth Williamson are now complete. Visitation hours will be held Wednesday, Oct. 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Oakey's South Chapel, 4347 Brambleton Ave., Roanoke, 540-989-3131.
ROANOKE, Va., Oct. 7, 2011--It is with great sadness that WVTF/RADIO IQ reports the passing of our dear friend Seth Williamson, who died unexpectedly last night following an operation.
Seth, 62, was WVTF’s longest-serving full-time employee, since the debut of his classical music program on Oct. 8, 1983.
He will long be remembered for his golden voice, his deep appreciation for all forms of music, his great talent as a musician, and his love of nature.
Before his death, Seth hosted the daily “Morning Classics” program on WVTF, as well as the weekly programs “Back to the Blue Ridge” and “Travelin’ On,” focusing on the traditional acoustic music and contemporary bluegrass of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
“On the air, Seth was never simply an announcer. Rather, he was really talking with his friends — about music, life and nature. He was deeply connected with his audience and that’s how he saw radio — as a personal connection with listeners,” said WVTF General Manager Glenn Gleixner.
A musician himself, Seth was accomplished on many instruments — he played trumpet and euphonium, as well as the trombone and bluegrass banjo. He particularly loved working with the Sauerkraut Band, a German band well known for Oktoberfest celebrations.
WVTF announcer and composer Steve Brown frequently wrote music for Seth. “It was such a delight to compose for his euphonium, knowing how happy he would be to play it. He always knew how to have fun with each piece. He certainly touched more than his share of lives,” said Brown.
As a long-time friend of Seth’s, Brown will host a musical tribute to Seth from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, featuring the music that Seth so dearly loved and shared with his thousands of listeners throughout the years.
A native of Texas, Seth attended Texas A&M and later transferred to Virginia Tech, where he graduated in 1978. At the time of his death he resided in the New River Valley.
All of us at WVTF/RADIO IQ extend our heartfelt condolences to Seth’s family, friends, and loved ones. He will long be honored for the things he shared -- his appreciation for great music, and a lifetime of passion for the beauty and intrigue of life and all that it had to offer.
Final arrangements are currently being planned by the family.
Those in the university community who may wish assistance or desire counseling support may contact:
- Cook Counseling Center at 540-231-6557
- Dean of Students Office at 540-231-3787
- Office of Housing and Residence Life at 540-231-6205
- Hokie Wellness at 540-231-2233 (students) or 540-231-8878 (employees)
- Employee Assistance Program
- Anthem at 1-855-223-9277
- Aetna at 1-888-238-6232
- Kaiser Permanente at 1-866-517-7042
- Referrals to a campus cleric may be done through the Dean of Students Office at 540-231-3787.