Marilyn Cooley has been surrounded by great music all of her life. She grew up in a household where classical music was a part of every day, in recordings, on the radio, and in performance at home.
"When I was growing up, my parents were much involved in classical music," says Cooley. "They were both pianists, and Dad also played the organ at church. So I was exposed to classical music at a very young age. Beyond the family, my main source of classical music was WGUC, the local public radio station in Cincinnati. The station introduced me to the breadth of classical music."
Inspired by appearances at state competitions with her high school choir, Cooley chose to study music throughout her academic career. Following her undergraduate degree in music, she earned her Master of Music degree at Northwestern University, where she performed as chorister and soloist with the University Collegium Musicum, and specialized in music of the Renaissance and early Baroque.
After serving as music announcer at WGUC in Cincinnati, and later as announcer and music director at Baltimore station WBJC, Cooley came to WETA in 1985 as the late night music announcer. She is now heard each weekday from 10:00am to 2:00pm on Classical WETA 90.9 FM.
About working in radio, she says, "It's fun for me to find something about the performers or the music that invites a conversation. Listeners sometimes come to think of radio personalities as their friends, and the radio station comes to feel like home. I enjoy that relationship, and the opportunity to bring to listeners the music that we all love."
A former animal care volunteer at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington and the primate and panda unit at the National Zoo, Cooley is a certified Healing Touch for Animals® practitioner and owner of Nova Holistic Animal Care.