By Timia Cobb
Web Content Contributor
Conner Yarbrough is someone you can’t help but want to know. He’s energetic, relatable and has everything it takes to be the extraordinary music director of KTSW’s music department. Yarbrough has been working at KTSW since his sophomore year of college and was drawn to the radio station because of the similarities it shared with his major.
“My major was electronic media so I figured it would be more my alley,” Yarbrough said. “ I just wanted to have a spot to create and cultivate. To get involved and be around people who were like minded.”
He joined KTSW because of music reviews he had seen the station posting and was interested in the thought of being able to give his own feedback on the music he loved. Yarbrough has always been a fan of music. Enjoying music has been something that he had always done. He’s the type of person to stay up all night just to hear a new album when it’s dropped, so it made sense that the KTSW music department was perfect for him.
“I signed up for web content, but I thought web content was the one doing music reviews but the next semester I applied for the music department and really enjoyed it,” Yarbrough said. “I was an assistant my first semester and got to edit songs, choose individual songs that were being put into rotation which was really exciting.”
As Yarbrough worked his way up getting the position he’s in now wasn’t easy. He was apart of two departments and because of job availability Yarbrough had to choose between being music director or social media administrator.
“The social media administrator and music director position had both opened up. I was kind of caught in between two departments I knew that I could be good at but ultimately I decided with music because if that’s something I want to get into further down the road then I really should be taking those steps to put myself in that position.”
Yarbrough has proven himself to be passionate about showing how diverse music can be. He explains that the alternative music scene upfront tends to be mostly white males but alternative music is way more than that and allowing KTSW to represent this will help to show more variety.
“My goal for the music department is to take the genre’s that we have been claiming to be playing and make sure that those were being represented on air, whenever I came into the position me and other people felt that KTSW had grown so much as a brand but the music department hadn’t really kept up with that. I wanted to bring more variety and diversity to our sound. To make sure that the artist that we we’re playing represented more than just one community.
Yarbrough has not only made impactful changes to the music department but has also made friendships. Cheyenne Young has been working with Yarbrough for almost a year now and sees him way more than a boss but as a friend. They both met when they happened to stay in the same dorm and soon found themselves working together as KTSW.
“Conner is awesome because he’s so inclusive. It’s not like he’s a boss but he’s an equal,” said Young. “We can go to him with problems, he makes sure everyone knows what they’re doing and makes them feel like they are included. He’s more than a boss, he cares about everyone and he’s just a good person.”
Yarbrough is a dedicated boss who truly cares about his staff. He will be graduating next spring and excited about seeing how the department will change after he leaves and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for him.
“I feel like the future holds a lot to be discovered,” said Yarbrough. “ I definitely feel this position has put me in a place to understand myself, the music industry and what employers are looking for.”
Featured image by Timia Cobb.