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Classical 101's Jennifer Hambrick Salutes Boyce Lancaster On His Retirement

color photo of Boyce Lancaster
Jennifer Hambrick
WOSU Public Media
Longtime Classical 101 morning host Boyce Lancaster in the Classical 101 studio

After 35 years of sharing classical music with all of central Ohio, Classical 101 morning host Boyce Lancaster is retiring this month. And his burnished baritone isn't the only thing he's taking with him. He's also taking that playful personality which has carried, cajoled and comforted us every day for more than three decades.

I don't like it when my wonderful co-workers go away. That's why I'm mad at Boyce Lancaster.

Mad as hornets, I tell you.

Dang it, Boyce.

And if you think Boyce Lancaster's effervescent personality is only for the airwaves, think again.

Let me tell you about Boyce Lancaster.

He's the anti-gloom, the guy who always has a kind and funny word for everyone. He's the guy who sees the good, the positive in everyone and every situation and rides that wave into the dawn of new possibilities.

Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket, you ask? Boyce Lancaster swoops in, as though on the first spring breeze, with the answer, reminding you that the handbasket isn't so bad after all – that it can even be fun if you spin it on its side, or throw it up in the air and look at it from below, or unweave it a bit.

I know this because I have worked with Boyce Lancaster for the last 13 years, but I've known his work as a broadcaster much longer.

I grew up in the Columbus area listening to classical music on WOSU, and I remember hearing Boyce on the radio and occasionally seeing him on WOSU TV. I soaked in years' worth of classical music knowledge from listening to what Boyce Lancaster and WOSU's other classical music hosts said about this music we love.

So when I started working for WOSU and working with Boyce, it was like coming full circle. Through his example he made me, no stranger to classical music but a newbie to the radio biz, see this medium's limitless possibilities for transforming minds and enriching lives.

And just as I learned something from Boyce Lancaster every day of my teen years as a WOSU classical music listener, I have learned something from Boyce every day of my 13 years as his co-worker.

I've also shared a laugh or three with Boyce every day for the last 13 years. I enter the Classical 101 studio every day a few minutes before 10 a.m., right after Boyce has finished his time on the air with you, and right before my time with you begins. We do a little changing-of-the-guards shtick that has gotten sillier and sillier every day. And just when we think it can't get any sillier, somehow, by way of that inimitable Lancastrian wit, it does.

Listen above to my recent conversation with Boyce Lancaster, to hear Boyce and me doing our silly behind-the-scenes morning shtick.

Also in that conversation, hear Boyce talk about the time he accidentally threw my morning coffee away. And lived (barely) to tell about it. And hear the great stories about how Boyce's dad knew Boyce would become a broadcaster, and about how Boyce came to the wonderful career he has enjoyed on the air at WOSU.

Yes, the good times working with Boyce Lancaster are too numerous to name. Everyone should be lucky enough to have a co-worker who makes coming to work fun. Boyce has been that guy.

Boyce, it has been an honor, a privilege and a joy to work with you. I wish you every happiness in your retirement. 

Please add your voices and leave your farewells to Boyce in the comments below.

The Classical 101 hosts will be meeting for coffee at Mozart's on Saturday, September 14 from 9-11am.  It's at 4784 N. High St. if you'd like to come have your morning coffee with us and say thanks to Boyce for his years as your morning companion.  The folks at Mozart's are Boyce fans, too, so they're making the space available to us...we encourage you to purchase coffee and a pastry while you're there.

Jennifer Hambrick unites her extensive backgrounds in the arts and media and her deep roots in Columbus to bring inspiring music to central Ohio as Classical 101’s midday host. Jennifer performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago before earning a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.