Suzanne Nance, the popular host of Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s “Morning Classical” radio show, is leaving for Chicago, the network announced Thursday.
She has accepted a job with the commercial classical radio station WFMT. She will remain with Maine Public Broadcasting Network through August.
Nance is MPBN’s director of music, performance and public affairs. Since 2007, she has served as host of the morning classical music show, heard across Maine. Her show is popular with classical audiences because of her mix of music, guests and personal stories.
“Although we will miss Suzanne’s enthusiasm and passion,” MBPN CEO and president Mark Vogelzang said in a statement, “we also know that is she is leaving MPBN for a new adventure with a great institution in the third-largest media market with a national classical broadcasting presence, so we may very well still hear her on a regular basis down the line.”
A soprano with an international singing career, Nance has earned a large and loyal following because of her spry personality and her ability to engage listeners. She is widely considered a rising star in the classical music world because of her career in radio and her stage presence.
The move to Chicago is a return home. She came to Maine from Philadelphia by way of Chicago. She lived and sang regularly in Chicago before coming to Portland.
In a 2011 interview with the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, she cited her radio career as a way to reach a wider audience than her stage career. “Radio for me was becoming more and more a part of my life,” she said. “It was sort of like, ‘I shouldn’t ignore this part. I should go to it, because it’s clearly a big part of what I can offer.’ So I did.”
Nance, who is in her mid-30s, came to Maine as a college intern, singing at the Seal Bay Music Festival. She fell in love with the state, and applied for an opening at MPBN when it became available.
Her life in Maine required balancing her work on the radio with her career as a performer. She traveled widely nationally and internationally.
On July 29, she will sing at Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick, sharing the stage with another Mainer with an international singing career, John McVeigh. They will perform a program of music from the world of opera and Broadway.
She grew up in Newtown, Pa., and studied vocal performance at DePaul University.
In his statement, Vogelzang said Nance’s departure will not lessen the network’s commitment to classical music.
“We are committed to providing the very best classical music to our MPBN family, as we have for the past 50 years,” he said.
Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or at:
CORRECTION: This story was updated at 8:18 am on Friday, July 12 to correct the name of the Chicago radio station. The station’s call letters are WFMT, not WMFT as previously stated.