Late night listeners of KUAC FM are familiar with the enthusiastic voice of Maryanne Babij, ‘Round Midnight host. “Maryanne is one of those unique volunteers that is equally comfortable programming classical music on a Friday Afternoon Concert and the next week coming in for the late night Friday shift ‘Round Midnight,” said Lori Neufeld, FM volunteer coordinator and music director. “Her voice and hosting are distinctive, full of passion for the music, inclusive of the listeners and leave you wanting more.”
Hailing from northwest Indiana, Maryanne studied comparative literature, film, women’s studies and religion at Indiana University at Bloomington. She arrived in Fairbanks in 1991 and began volunteering for KUAC in 1996.
As a child she appeared on Bozo’s Circus on WGN-TV in Chicago. “I got a taste of fame and it could not be slaked,” she said.
“I am very honored and privileged to volunteer for KUAC which is such an important part of our community,” Maryanne said. “It’s one thing that substantiates my peripheral, marginalized existence.”
She appreciates that friends in Africa and Germany listen to her show via streaming. “I live for connection and community and KUAC extends my community all over the world. It boggles my mind and uplifts my heart. I get to participate and not just listen. I love it.”
In her spare time, Maryanne loves photography and re-mixing and layering landscapes, cityscapes and the aurora into unique representations.
She prefers not to discuss goals. “Planning is for people who like to be disappointed,” she said. “Chaos is my co-pilot.”
Listeners call and email about the shows Maryanne hosts. “I’m so glad to hear Maryanne on the airwaves,” a fan said. “She’s my favorite. Even when I’ve never heard of an artist she features music from, I love it.” A listener posted on Facebook, “Oh Maryanne, you have me stuck in my car in my driveway because you keep playing more music I want to hear.”
During the KUAC Spring Fundraiser, Maryanne called out to all listeners in Alaska and beyond to support KUAC. “Because of her we had web pledges that Friday night,” Lori Neufeld said. “It’s so cool to have that kind of feedback. Maryanne is delighted to do her part and puts a lot of work into her shows researching music and artists.”