Kristine Allen lives a life immersed in the arts.
She sings, acts, plays the fiddle and, for 14 years, hosted WPSU’s weekday morning classical music show. Listeners can still catch her smooth voice on the radio, but these days, she’s got a different gig.
Allen, WPSU’s program director, now covers the arts after the station, late last year, began airing morning classical shows piped in from Minnesota Public Radio. She does the local breaks; otherwise, she can be heard interviewing actors, musicians and other artists.
“Not being on the air as a classical host frees me up to be an arts reporter, which I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.
As a child in the Midwest, she jumped into the arts early. She was just 5 when she acted in a play directed by her mother. Her early credits included appearances on her father’s syndicated TV exercise show.
At Notre Dame, she studied communication and became a classical host at the school’s radio station. Eventually, she rose to program director — the first in a series of radio jobs in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Kansas before her 1995 move to State College.
No longer does she pick morning classical playlists: A Minnesota programmer Allen trusts handles that now, drawing from a much larger collection than WPSU could afford.
“Suddenly, it’s as if our (classical) record library has expanded by 800 percent,” Allen said.
Speaking of choices, Allen’s happy to have made hers. Now she’s out and about, producing stories, still with listeners in their cars and homes.
“I actually feel honored that people invite me into their living rooms,” she said.