Thom Kokenge

All Things Considered Host & Producer

Thom  Kokenge is a Washington native, born and raised in Yakima, and the youngest of seven siblings.  A graduate of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Thom got his start in radio there, with KCAT and KXLE, fulfilling a lifelong dream of being on the air.  Since he was a kid, he had always wanted to be “one of those voices on the radio.”  And even when employed in other areas, he has always managed to work part time or volunteer at a radio station, just for the fun of it.
With over a quarter-century’s worth of experience, Thom has worked in almost every aspect of radio.  He has been with NWPR since June of 2007, when he began as the host of Weekend Edition before moving over to All Things Considered.  These days his favorite part about working in radio is connecting with the people.  Thom says he loves it when he feels like he is having a personal conversation with all of his listeners at once.

Thom and his wife, Elise, moved to Moscow, Idaho a little over four years ago.   They have two dogs-- Dazey, an “extremely intelligent” Boston Terrier/miniature Schnauser mix, and Rhoadie, a lovable mutt, who is merely "regular dog intelligent."  An avid motorcycle enthusiast, Thom rides his Kawasaki sport tourer to work every day until it begins to snow, and recently Elise got a bike of her own.  He enjoys playing on his co-ed softball team.  Despite being “absolutely terrible,” they apparently still manage to have an awfully good time, which, according to Thom, is all that really matters.

Ways to Connect

Fernando Valenzuela / Flickr

  In this episode, we chat with Victoria-based composer Stephen Brown about his work Takakkaw Falls. Traditional Celtic tunes, Canadian folk music and the Rocky Mountains make this suite for cello and piano what it is and the piece incorporates the themes of life, loss and love. 

Marie Glynn / NWPR

In this episode, Greg Yasinitsky discusses his work Nighthawk in Flight - an exploration of the line between the genres of classical and jazz called "third stream."  The Washington State University Symphonic Wind Ensemble performs alongside jazz quartet Nighthawk, an ensemble in which Yasinitsky plays saxophone.

Listen below to this rhythmic and melodic melding of genres or download at Soundcloud

David Glenn

Welcome to De-Composing: The Breakdown of Compositions - Northwest Public Radio's look into music of the region and how it was created.

In this episode, David Glenn chats about his work Sculpture Garden for Piano Quintet.

Its roots lie deep in the Northwest - a Walla Walla composer with a commission from the Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival writing about Whitman College and the colorful works of art that can be seen throughout campus from many northwest artists.

Paula Poundstone is regularly heard on NPR’s news quiz program Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me as a popular guest panelist.  A stand-up comic since 1979, Poundstone has won multiple wards, and was recently inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame.  She tells Thom Kokenge in this extended interview why Facebook is like the children’s game Duck-Duck-Goose, and provides some behind-the-scenes stories of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.