Sunday, February 23, 2014

WERU Volunteer Q&A with Holly McFaul

If you've had the good fortune to meet Holly McFaul, one half of WERU's reigning mother and daughter programmer duo, you inevitably walk away feeling like you've just made a new friend.  Holly, a Virginia native, has resided in Belfast with her husband Andy and daughter Pip for the last 8 years.  The ultimate cool mom, Holly can be found at WERU on Saturday evenings, scouring the new music for Pip friendly finds, while Pip takes to the air on The Junk Drawer.  Holly is an on air talent in her own right as one of the rotating hosts of the Sunday Morning Coffee House.  Holly's warmth and ready smile belies the sadness she has carried with her since the unexpected death of her 18 year old son Jeremiah in 2006.  In Holly's words: "Life goes on, time marches on.  I have a daughter to raise and guide through this life and she needs me. Or so I’d like to think!"  Check back for Pip's answers to the WERU Volunteer Q&A next time!
What is your favorite thing about Maine?  Too many favorites! The beautiful nature, clean water and fresh air, wildlife, arts, interesting creative people I’ve met, no traffic, low population. Living here is like going back in time to a much simpler life where a contra dance, art opening, live performance or outdoor music is available to enjoy!
How long have you been volunteers at WERU?  We started the New Volunteer Orientation April 2012, and I programmed my first show filling in for Soul Food in August 2012.  I earned the slot of one of the rotating Sunday Morning Coffee House hosts September 2012.
How did you become interested in becoming on air programmers?  Two things.  First, Charlie Bickford from Woodstock Nation told us about WERU.  We met him at the waterfront park in April 2006 when we first moved to Belfast.  (As a side note, I heard about Charlie from a friend in Virginia before we moved to Maine, but that is a story for another time.)  Then Cheryl Morin, host of Departures, had an item for bid at a local Belfast auction, and the highest bidder won a co-host spot on her show.  I placed a bid for Pip.  She won, and the rest is history!
Describe the Sunday Morning Coffee House.  Historically, the SMCH is a folk show.  All programmers put their own personal twist to each show - some with a bit of Celtic and Bluegrass, such as myself.  Others step a bit outside the box.  I try to keep my selections to strictly acoustic, but if a listener requests something, I always try to play it!
What other volunteer activities have you participated in at WERU?  Besides co-hosting and answering phones for every Funathon, we worked the WERU outreach table at the 2013 Aurora music festival.  Pip was the official WERU photographer at the Avett Brothers concert last August (I was her official chauffeur to the event!).

What is your favorite on air memory?  Listening to Pip’s very first hosting job, which was filling in for Matt Murphy on the Wicked Good Music Hour in June 2012.  As a Mom, when you see your kids happy, it makes you happy.  I am Pip’s number one fan!
Most embarrassing or funny on air memory?  Embarrassing = dead air!  Not good.  Or ask Pip about embarrassing,  I’m sure I have embarrassed her on more than one occasion!
Favorite bands?  Loaded Question!  George Harrison, Jerry Garcia, Eva Cassidy, Luka Bloom, David Grisman, Herb Albert, Jimmy Reed, Seldom Scene, Mister Moon, Wailin’ Jennys, John Prine, Louis Armstrong, Mackelmore, Nick Drake, The Nighthawks, Paolo Nutini, Pete Seeger, Van Morrison, Cherish the Ladies, Neil Diamond, Pink Floyd, CSNY and STP.
Favorite genre of music?  I am all over the map!  Folk, Indie, Blues, Bluegrass, Big Band, Rock, Alt Rock, Jazz, Funk, Show Tunes. Almost all types of music!
What is your earliest music memory?  Show tunes playing on the family stereo cabinet like The Music Man, My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music.
First LP or CD?  The Beach Boys, Wild Honey (LP) & The Beatles, I Feel Fine (45)
What was the first band you saw in concert?  Leslie West and Mountain at George Mason University in 1973.
Favorite memory of Pip when she was little?  Gosh, so many! She was the perfect child, always happy and sweet, and I loved her love of all animals, especially felines!  She has always stood up for the underdog and was/is vocal about injustices in this world.
What is your profession outside of WERU?  I'm employed as a bookkeeper for ReVision Energy in Liberty, which is a solar design and installation company.  Back in Virginia, I worked for the Federal Government for more than twenty years.
What hobbies and interests do you have outside of music? Quilting, machine and hand quilting.  I just started taking a class on African drumming and another class on hand piece quilting. And I love, Love, LOVE ocean fishing, swimming in the ocean, snorkeling; anything involving saltwater!  Oh, and I LOVE dark chocolate, not just any dark chocolate, I have my favorites (I’m a chocolate snob).  "Hello, My Name is Holly and I have a Chocolate Problem!" HA!
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?  Wow, I could think of lots of people!  George Harrison, Jerry Garcia and all of my great-grand parents.
Favorite food?  Chocolate!  Again, not just any type of chocolate; only dark chocolate and not all are created equal!  I am always available to sample dark chocolate!
Favorite book?  George Harrison, I, Me, Mine
Favorite movie?  Gone With The Wind!  I love old movies.  Sadly, Pip refuses to watch this movie.  I'm the ultimate optimist, so someday I hope to watch this movie with her.
Favorite holiday and why?  Hmmm.  Probably Thanksgiving.  I have wonderful, happy family memories of Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is around my birthday.  The house smells good, everyone else is happy, and I love to eat yummy food!  So, yup, Thanksgiving!
If you could have any super power, what would it be?  To have a do over!  I know you're not supposed to have regrets, but there are quite a few things in my life that I would love to have a second chance at - to change, to do differently!  Yup, a do over!
If you could visit any place in the world, where would it be?  Too many places I want to see before I leave this world. Ireland, Scotland and Bora Bora just to name a few!
What would people be surprised to know about you?  I'm Bradley from Owls Head, and I want to hear more Bryan Ferry!  (Just kidding!)

If you could describe Pip in 3 words, what would they be?LOVE, UNIQUE, AMAZING!
Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you?  Best job I’ve ever had is being a Mom! I am the ultimate optimist!

Sunday Morning Coffee House

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