Carbondale's community connector

Our Town: Soul Sista Drea holds down the airwaves

Locations: News Published

Q: So, let’s dive in! Where are you from?
A: Carbondale, Colorado. I was born in Aspen and moved down here when I was 7.

Q: How come you stayed?
A: Well, I’ve traveled a bit, but my family is still here, I love this community, and I love knowing where the source of water is. There are other places I’ve wanted to go, but really there is no place like this, and I’m cursed.

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Q: You mentioned traveling a bit. Tell me about that.
A: I went to Cambridge, Mass for my first year of college, and then got a phone call from Becky Young. She needed help with her son Mike, so I came back and was an aide to him for two years. I then went to Boulder and did my Montessori training. I worked at Mt. Sopris Montessori before I did the training. I’ve been in Early Childhood Education for, I would say, 30 years. Mostly preschool age kids and working with kids with special needs.

Q: What is your own personal philosophy when it comes to early childhood?
A: With Maria Montessori and Rudolf Steiner, though they have different philosophies, there are a lot of similarities, and a lot of it is in the observation of the child. I am not there to teach them doctrine or anything like that. I am there to observe and see what their interests are, and to match those interests with other materials or activities. I am not into teaching to the test. Every child can benefit from all the different philosophies — Reggio, Montessori, Waldorf, there’s something for everyone. Most importantly I am there to observe and be scientific about how to provide for the child.

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Q: You’re also very involved with KDNK. How did you get your start?
A: I’ve been on the radio for over 10 years — creeping into 20, showing how old I am. I was introduced through the backdoor. DJ Amber Sparkles introduced me to KDNK. She showed me the ropes and let me loose. I’ve never done any formal training. Mark Ross had the Funky Phantom Children Show where he played kid music, and I took that over and did it for many years on a Sunday evening. Then I started subbing for other shows and started growing as a DJ.

Q: What do you really enjoy most about being a part of KDNK?
A: Oh, wow, there’s just so much! I love how all music genres are represented by these DJs, and that they are all volunteers. There is just so much heart and love for music and connecting community through music and programming. I also think the AZYEP is one of the most powerful things you can have for young children to learn to be DJs and they are better DJs than the volunteer DJs [Drea laughs]. Mostly it’s just spreading the love through music is what I love most about KDNK.

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Q: What is the inspiration for your radio show The Chapel of Eclectic Tunes?
A: Well, I like all genres of music and in my evolution of becoming a DJ, I play everything from country to funk. Usually my shows go through these roller coaster rides, and it is totally off the cuff. I don’t plan! It just intuitively comes out of me. Not until this pandemic did I sit down and try to do more Spotify playlists. I think it has blossomed my music selection.

Q: Favorite albums — list two or three.
A: Holy… really?! Just three?! Okay, well John Prine, The Missing Years, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Flight of the Cosmic Hippo, and Willy Nelson’s Stardust. I didn’t have any females in there! Aretha for sure!

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Q: Favorite podcast?
A: Radiolab. Hands down.

Q: Do you have a quote or a mantra that sticks with you?
A: Two roads diverged in the woods, and I – I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost

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