Radio brings out employee’s passion for music

sandy macdonaldWhen Sandy Macdonald isn’t working as a civil rights investigator, he is playing music – as a radio host, producer and in a band.

“I just enjoy playing the music and I enjoy being part of live radio,” Macdonald said.

An 18-year employee with what is now King County’s Office of Civil Rights and Open Government, Sandy gets in the radio booth every second and fourth Sunday of the month to host 91.3 KBCS’s show, “Sunday Folks” from 9 a.m. to noon. The show describes itself as “A morning mix of traditional and contemporary folk in all its undefined states.”

Macdonald has hosted shows at the public radio station for 23 years. He originally got into radio in college, graduating with a degree in radio, television and film.

“When I moved here I had heard about the station KBCS and that they had all kinds of hosts, but they didn’t have any openings,” Macdonald said.

Macdonald decided to drop off an audition tape anyway and within two weeks the station had a host position open up for a show called, “Lunch with Folks.”

“The program director, our music director, had my tape and said, ‘well how’d you like to come in? You can start this week on Thursday.’ I had just moved up here and didn’t have a job, so for the first summer I was here I did Thursdays from noon to 3,” Macdonald said.

But hosting a folk radio show isn’t Macdonald’s only musical endeavor. A self-proclaimed “recreational guitar player,” Macdonald plays guitar in a band called Happy Campers that plays old swing standards at senior citizen centers. He also produces concerts for the Seattle Folklore Society that occur every Saturday night between September and May.

Macdonald finds volunteering in the local music scene fulfilling.

“It’s something that keeps my creative juices flowing and something that gives me alternative things to do during the weekends and evenings. It gets me out into the community, even though I’m an anonymous voice on the radio,” Macdonald said.