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November 30, 2010

Fred Knittel

Fred Knittel might not stand out in a crowd if you saw him crossing Market Street on his way to class as he looks a bit like many other college students. Although he disagrees stating, “I might stand out in a crowd because I have really big hair and glasses and I occasionally wear red pants.” During the day he is a Westphal Music Industry senior attending classes and working extra hard to graduate early this winter. But outside of the classroom, Fred is truly a star.  He has been working at WKDU 91.7 FM, Drexel’s student-run radio station since the first week of his freshman year, first hosting a jazz show, then an eclectic show,  and finally for more than two years hosting his signature show,  Folkadelphia.  In addition to being on-air, Fred has been an executive at the station serving as both music and program director. “My proudest accomplishment is that I've booked more than 50 national and touring bands to play in-studio performances here at Drexel,” said Fred. “Those bands included Nada Surf, Kurt Vile, Owen, Lisa Hannigan, Marnie Stern, Horse Feathers, Gregory and the Hawk, David Bazan, Youth Group and Headlights.”  WKDU, with its emphasis on the Philadelphia music scene, recently won two prestigious awards at the CMJ Festival--CMJ’s Station of the Year as well as Champion of the Local Scene. Fred has also been nominated two years running for CMJ’s Music Director of the Year.

What Fred has done at WKDU would suggest Fred will thrive when he graduates, but Fred does so much more.  Earlier this year, Fred and fellow Music Industry student, Matthew Klein, created a Philadelphia-centric, vinyl record label, Be Frank Records. In July, they worked with Philadelphia folk artist Birdie Busch to create a seven-inch record with two songs about Philadelphia titled 'Everyone Will Take You In' that you can check out at  Fred spent his co-op working under WXPN program director Bruce Warren and subsequently secured a gig on WXPN’s sister station YROCK.  You can now hear Folkadelphia every Tuesday from 6-8 PM on YROCKONXPN.ORG.  If all this isn’t enough, Fred has an internship at Johnny Brendas where he assists in day-to-day and long-term operations.  By March, Fred will graduate with an impressive record of accomplishments, and while we will miss him, we’re confident that he is bound for even greater success.  Before he goes though, Fred is putting together his senior project. “I wish I could tell you more about my senior project,” he said. “But I’ll just say that it involves a series of three folk music performances and lectures occurring on Sundays in February 2011. It's going to be super rad.”