KGNU plans virtual prom for BVSD, Front Range high school students
While the ongoing pandemic has prompted the closure of schools across the state for the remainder of the school year and forced the cancellation of many of the fun spring traditions that high school students look forward to, local radio station KGNU is hoping to preserve one rite of passage for students in Boulder Valley and beyond. They will be hosting a virtual prom on Saturday, May 2 from 6 - 9 p.m., which will allow socially-distanced students a chance to still get down.
Live music will be provided by a two-time recipient of Westword magazine’s Best of Denver award, Erin Stereo, and the dance will be chaperoned by KGNU Denver Program Manager and resident DJ, Deeprawk Dave Ashton. The entire event, complete with the virtual crowning of prom royalty will be broadcast live on the radio station, which is broadcast at 88.5 FM and 1390 AM.
Additionally, 50 lucky couples will be invited to join the party via video conferencing, by signing up on the radio station’s website.
“Instead of ‘everything is canceled,’ we want them to have something,” said Barbara Stern, the Vice-Chair of KGNU’s Board of Directors. “It is a horrible thing that we are not able to spend the last three months of school with our friends, but they can have this. This is something the radio station can do for them.”
She says that the virtual prom will be interactive and fun, with the 50 couples helping to select the music and sharing their stories.
“It is going to be fun music and it isn’t going to be my music,” Stern said with a laugh. “It will be fun to listen to their stories. We’re asking questions about their favorite moment in high school and what they are thinking about the future and those kinds of things will be talked about on-air”
Former Boulder Valley School District Board of Education President and KGNU personality Sam Fuqua, who is a father of three Boulder High School graduates -- two of which attended prom, says he knows how much the event means to many high school students.
“It is one of those memorable events that many, many of our seniors look forward to,” Fuqua said. “It is sad that the seniors this year won’t get to experience it. Here is an opportunity to attend a different prom for a different time.”
While this year’s virtual proms, including KGNU’s and one put on by actor John Krasinski— of Jack Ryan and The Office fame — cannot replace the traditional dances, Fuqua says getting all dressed up and celebrating will be memorable and can help teens cope with the situation.
“As we are learning, you can still be social, while still being socially distant. Dancing in your living room is still dancing. While I know that it is not the same thing, clearly, but sometimes it is fun to embrace the weirdness of it. It can help us get through too,” Fuqua said.
Learn more about KGNU’s virtual prom and RSVP at kgnu.org and tune in Saturday, May 2 from 6 - 9 p.m. Everyone is welcome.