Clubs and Organizations, Student News

B-Rad Lives Up to Its Name

Bennington Radio (B-Rad), which earned The Princeton Review’s #14 rating among college radio stations nationwide this year, is located in what was once a large coat closet at the entrance of the Center for the Advancement of Public Action.

The high-ceilinged room has been transformed into a studio. Its back wall is covered with a white board. Multicolored doodles bear some resemblance to the hand-drawn B-Rad posters that hang near the entrances to buildings all over campus. 

“The poster culture at Bennington is something so special. It is like nowhere else I've seen,” said Jade Baratta ’24, a B-Rad DJ and the station’s co-manager. “That's a really great way for me and everyone else to gauge how involved each DJ is and how passionate people are about their show.”  


B-Rad Posters

Young and Tired poster
Gooneviks Poster
AMTRK radio poster
Lilypad poster
B-Rad t-shirt design by Music Rep Grace McAlexander

The studio is just big enough for a six-foot table surrounded by four chairs. The table holds a computer, sound and mixing boards, headsets, and microphones hovering from tall jointed arms. Across the table flows a river of black cables that bring the voices of Bennington students and their favorite music to the world. 

Catherine Spadt ’27, co-hosts a show called UNTITLED with friend Gavin Sofronski ’26 at 10:00 pm on Tuesday nights. The show features the electronic music they both enjoy. 

“To me, electronic music is like the abstract art of music,” said Spadt. “There are not a lot of rules. I think sometimes when you make things abstract, you are able to feel them more. I think it is a really pure form of expression.” 

To begin their show, Spadt and Sofronski reconfigure the cables and connections the previous DJ had used. Their hands, heavy with rings made of silver, some with large inset stones, adjust dials and press buttons. They follow cables to their ends, unplug one, and plug in another. The cable ends make a satisfying “chuk-chuk” sound as they connect with the board. Tonight, they have planned a twelve-song set list that includes one of Sofronski’s own, which he produced under the name Gsof. 

All of the music we play is music we like to listen to,” Spadt said. “We dance and hang out. Sometimes we mix. When we hear a song we really like or a drop or a switch that is really smooth, it’s super fun.

So far they have done six weekly shows and two live sets, during which they play music in the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) center. 

“We had a friend do projections. He studies digital arts and lighting design,” said Spadt. “We had lights and music, so that was really cool, like a rave.” 

Listeners find live student DJs most evenings of the term at The website also features the schedule of shows with short descriptions of each. When there is no DJ on the schedule, the station streams an eclectic array of ad-free music. 

Unlike most commercial radio stations, there’s no tower. There’s no number on a radio dial. Listeners can tune in any time on the web. The Internet is a less expensive and less regulated way to broadcast, Baratta said. 

“And then also, accessibility. Not many people are with a radio all the time anymore,” she said. 

The odd arrangement, radio on the Internet, begs the question: is this old media or new media? Like traditional radio, B-Rad shows happen at a set time. While archived shows are available to the DJs for download, they are not available to listeners on demand.  

“You have to [visit the site] at the right time to listen,” said Baratta. “But because it's on the Internet, because we've ditched the old technology, it might be considered new media.” 

The online format provides real time data regarding how many people are listening and where they are in the world. 

“We sit here and watch the listeners,” said Spadt, referring to a graph and map on the computer monitor. “I remember last time we had someone from Germany listening.” 

Baratta keeps an eye on the stats as well, noting that they had an average of 43 visitors per day in October. 

“Not too bad,” she said. 

On B-Rad’s top twenty Princeton Review ranking, Baratta said, “It feels really cool. It was honestly shocking, because Bennington is such a small campus; but we do work really hard at the radio station. And people are really passionate about their shows, and I think that [the rating] reflects how hard we work and how much we care about the radio here.” 

Baratta and her co-station manager, Cy Veilleux ’25, make the schedule, check the station email, respond to requests, make sure the website runs properly, and relate with faculty sponsor Senem Pirler to troubleshoot issues. They also run team meetings with the tech manager, talk rep, music rep, and social media manager. 

And, she notes, “we all work together in planning events.” 

At 9:00 pm on Friday, November 17, the station hosted a music video night at DownCaf. The event idea came from an event held last spring at Kilpatrick, where Veilleux lives. 

“We would take all of the furniture out into the yard and plug in a TV and some big speakers and all share our favorite music videos,” Veilleux said. “And it ended up being a lot of house members’ favorite nights. So we thought we could bring it to all of the school and have everybody enjoy.” 

Veilleux continued, “the event went well. It was just fun to see people pile in. We put some of the couches up front, so people could just watch. But there was also dancing as well. It was a nice mix.”

B-Rad’s Music Rep Grace McAlexander created a design, above, to screen print live at the event. 

Baratta, Veilleux, and the B-Rad team are already thinking about events and new shows for next term. 

“Anyone in the Bennington community could have a radio show, as long as they can get to the station when their time is allotted,” Baratta said. 

The station is @bton_radio on Instagram and on the web at