Oliver Camacho – Music Director/Program Host
LaRob K. Rafael – Program Host/Producer
Chicago, IL – October 11, 2021 – WFMT classical radio announced today that it has named Oliver Camacho as WFMT Music Director and Program Host and LaRob K. Rafael as WFMT Host/Producer. Camacho and Rafael will build on WFMT’s history and reputation for classical music radio excellence in the service of creating programming that is accessible, immersive and inspiring.
In his new role, Camacho will create WFMT’s music schedule and special programming, oversee WFMT’s vast music library, generate content for WFMT’s print and digital platforms, and participate in the planning and execution of WFMT’s membership drives. Camacho will continue to host his regular shift on Saturday afternoons including the weekly Listening to Singers series.
On October 24, Rafael will transition to permanent Program Host of WFMT’s weekend mornings including the popular new series Saturday Morning Listener’s Choice and Soundtrack. He will also produce new broadcast programming and digital features, serve as host for in-house and remote live specials, and collaborate on WFMT’s community engagement efforts and activities.
“We are fortunate to welcome two such skilled and talented people in Oliver and LaRob to our team,” said WFMT General Manager George Preston. “I’m confident each will bring something new and special to the table, and will continue WFMT’s rich tradition of providing the very best classical music and arts content to our audience.”
“I am privileged to be named Music Director for a cherished Chicago institution that has inspired me since I was a student,” said Camacho. “With the support from my knowledgeable and equally passionate colleagues, I hope to safeguard what audiences love best about WFMT, while fostering inclusivity and reaching new listeners.”
I can’t wait to join WFMT as host and producer,” said Rafael. “There are far too many classical works by BIPOC and non-male composers waiting to be amplified by classical radio. I get to use my voice to connect these communities through music in the Chicago area, and aid WFMT in building a welcoming ramp for listeners who have an expansive idea of the stories classical music can tell.”
Listen to 98.7WFMT FM, on wfmt.com, and on the WFMT app.
About Oliver Camacho
Oliver Camacho joined the WFMT announcer team in February of 2019. A proud graduate of Chicago’s Lane Technical High School, where he first learned to sing under George Rico, Camacho went on to study vocal performance at Northwestern University, and historically informed performance practice at the Amherst Early Music Festival and Early Music
Vancouver. He continues to perform regularly with Bella Voce and at the art song salon Liederstube in Chicago’s Fine Arts Building. Camacho is co-host of two podcasts about opera, OperaNow! and Opera Box Score. In the tradition of Arias & Songs with Larry Johnson and From the Recording Horn with Andy Karzas, in January of 2020, he began hosting Listening to Singers with Oliver Camacho.
LaRob K. Rafael joined the WFMT announcing staff in 2020. He is a trained bass-baritone who has performed internationally in leading operatic roles and as a soloist in orchestral chamber works and an experienced Arts Administrative Specialist who worked most recently at Lyric Opera of Chicago in the Learning and Creative Engagement Department, Lyric Unlimited. Rafael is the Founder and Artistic Director of Hearing in Color, an organization dedicated to supporting those whose contributions and stories have been historically excluded from classical spaces. In addition, he sits on the Board of La Caccina as Diversity and Community Engagement Advisor and has been an active consultant with the recently formed Black Opera Alliance and Black Administrators of Opera groups. Rafael is a native of Temple Hills, Maryland, a graduate of DePaul University, and will continue to sing around the Chicago area (William Ferris Chorale/North Shore Baptist Church).
WFMT is one of the world’s most respected classical music radio stations, available on-air at WFMT 98.7FM, online at wfmt.com/listen, and on the WFMT app. WFMT showcases superlative programs, concerts, and live events – from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival, the Metropolitan Opera, Ravinia Festival, and many more. WFMT is also a leading producer and syndicator of a diverse selection of outstanding musical series, including Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin, the Beethoven Network, and the Jazz Network. Connect with WFMT on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and attend WFMT’s virtual community events.