Parker Prout


Parker brings to his Thursday Morning Classics program (8:00 am to noon) a lifelong involvement in music that began at age six when he sang in a youth choir and started piano lessons. He descends from a musical family, going back to his great-grandparents and grandparents, all of whom played instruments and sang.  Although he majored in music at Trinity College, for a while music took a back seat as he served in the military, married his wife Diane and raised two children. Parker had a 30+ year career in the corporate world managing human resources issues for several organizations.

In the 1990s Parker served on the board of the L.A. Chamber Orchestra and thereafter music gradually came back to the forefront of his life. He was Music Director and organist at a United Methodist Church in Norwalk, CT from 2005 to 2012. Parker joined WMNR Fine Arts Radio as a broadcaster in 2006. He became interested in WMNR after reading a Sunday New York Times article about the station and recognizing General Manager Kurt Anderson from a time ago when they both were at YMCA Camp Mohawk in Cornwall, CT. 

Now Parker hosts Thursday Morning Classics each week.  He assembles his programs from his personal CD collection, WMNR’s music library and online downloads.  Parker uses the Music Log program developed by WMNR’s Jim Wright to time and track his selections.  He also relies on Music Librarian software to avail himself of everything the studio library offers.  On show days, Parker listens to WMNR on the drive in to the studio in Monroe. Once in the studio, he generally opens his programs with a 4 to 5 minute piece then greets his listeners, before continuing with music. Most weeks at the beginning of the 9:00 hour, a cantata or another choral work by JS Bach is featured.  Parker recently completed spending six years of Thursdays working his way through the Hanssler International Kantatenwerk collection (70 CDs) of Bach’s cantatas featuring world class soloists with chorus and instrumentalists from Stuttgart, all conducted by Helmuth Rilling.  That and other recordings continue the Bach choral tradition at 9 am.

In the 10:00 hour he features a pipe organ piece, both as a former organist himself and as he recognizes that listeners can’t always find music of that sort on the radio. In the last two hours of his program, Parker features music of the Romantic era, the 20th and 21st centuries, including complete works by American and other non-European composers. He is always interested in music that appeals to WMNR listeners and tries to incorporate their likes and suggestions in his Thursday morning program plans.

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