Meet a Student: Judith Krummeck
Judith Krummeck’s voice may be more familiar than her name is. As the weekday evening drive-time host on Maryland’s WBJC radio station, she offers news and classical music broadcasting in her distinctive South African accent.
Krummeck has reinvented herself over the years. In 1997, she and her husband moved from her native South Africa to a town near Pittsburgh, Pa., before settling in Baltimore in 1998. She has transitioned from professional acting to lecturing, radio broadcasting, television broadcasting and now, exploring creative nonfiction as a student in UB’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts program.
Q: What do you consider your first passion?
A: Until I started writing, acting was probably the most intensely creative thing I did. I just love the fact that you turn up at the first rehearsal with nothing but words on a page and at the end of the rehearsal period, you have this three-dimensional piece that you hope is going to move people in some way. I love the whole way of finding how to inhabit a character. Then I sort of segued into broadcasting [both radio and television, with the South African Broadcasting Corp.], and that felt very much like a duck to water. I just loved it; I was so lucky. I had been there only 18 months before the arts editorship became available. Then allied to that was the television work that I did. Television is wonderful because it is so powerful. It was a wonderful experience, but radio has always been my first passion.
Q: How did writing enter into your world as the next step?
A: The writing really came as quite a surprise. I was writing on-air copy for radio and television, I had adapted radio plays, but I had never thought of myself as a creative writer. … Then I discovered creative nonfiction, and I thought, “Hey, I can do that.” I was feeling a need to find a way to articulate what had happened to me coming to this country. It’s such an extraordinary experience: picking yourself up in one country and putting yourself down in another.
I kept a journal, and I’ve always written emails and letters and things, and so I tried to correlate those into some sort of form. … I didn’t know how to set about it, and then I found this program and I thought, “Let me see if I can find a way to write about it here.”
This program’s helped me go off on another trajectory altogether. It has helped me to understand what makes a story. It’s finding the soul of the piece and where to start it and where to build it and how to bring it alive, and I think that’s just what I wasn’t understanding. It’s a remarkable program.
Q: What is the one piece of music you think everyone should hear once in their lifetime?
A: This is a very personal and subjective opinion. I think the “Nocturne” for piano trio by Franz Schubert. It’s a small gem. It’s only about 10 minutes long, and it is just a heartbreakingly beautiful piece. It’s beautifully structured. It’s in rondo form, so it’s got a lovely opening and then it sort of meanders away at the middle and then it comes back to that opening. I just find if I am in any way jangled, if I listen to that, it really centers me. It is a really exquisite piece.