On May 9, southern Maine MPBN classical music lovers lost classical music and opera. Despite this long tradition and long-beloved feature of public radio in Maine and most of the rest of the United States, the Maine Public Broadcasting Network chose to eliminate classical music and opera from their usual programming and separate it to another station.

For those of us (and there are many in our community), who cherish public radio’s commercial-free excellent classical music to accompany our lives, this has been a devastating loss.

Alternatives are offered by the station, but do not make it easy or affordable to hear the 9 a.m. to noon classical music program, hosted so well by Robin Rilette, or the Metropolitan Opera live from Lincoln Center, anticipated all week long.

These alternatives include streaming the programs on your computer (with the usual computer-quality speakers), or purchasing an HD radio for each listening need in the house. The video supplied by MPBN to help you overcome this loss cheerfully explains what an HD radio is and how to choose one. Prices range from $50 to $500.

Classical listeners may be a “niche” audience, but we are lifelong supporters of public radio and are responsible for passing on our preferences and love of public radio to the following generations.

I hope that a better solution to serve our needs is found and that the threat of loss of support by classical music lovers will lead MPBN to restore the programming that we depend on.

Beth Addison

Portland