395 Azalea Avenue (Mailing Address: PO Box 15546) Richmond, VA 23227 | 804-266-2477

Volunteer Reader FAQs

Q. Does Virginia Voice need more volunteer readers?

A. We always need additional readers.  At the moment, the greatest need is for readers available on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons to read the Richmond Times-Dispatch LIVE on air.

Q. Do I need to commit to a certain number of hours each week?

A. No. A program recording usually takes between 30 minutes and one hour. Some readers volunteer once a week or every other week, some once a month, and some simply schedule time as they are available.  Weekend live readings are in 90-minute shifts, with several breaks built in. There is no set time commitment – it is entirely up to the volunteer as to how much time they want to give.

Q. Is there an age requirement?

A. Readers must be 18 years of age. All readers must pass a short oral reading audition.

Q. Who decides what the reader will read?

A. After the audition, the program director and volunteer will work together to determine what type of material will be most comfortable for the volunteer.

Q. Will I always read the same program?

A. Some volunteers are “dedicated” to a single program, others are “at-large” readers and may read for a different program each time. Much depends on the programming needs for each day and whether or not all scheduled readers are able to be present.

Q. What is being judged in the audition?

A. Voice strength, vocal quality, vocabulary, inflection, intonation, speed, phrasing, enunciation and pronunciation.

Q. Are the readings recorded or “live?”

A. The first reading of the Richmond Times-Dispatch each day is live, all other programs are pre-recorded at times necessitated by the program schedule.

Q. Can I record nights after work or on weekends?

A. Yes. Our three recording studios are open on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m. We’re open on Saturdays from 9:00 until noon, and on Sundays from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. All studio assignments are by appointment to ensure as few conflicts as possible.

Q. When is the earliest I can come in to read?

A. Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m.; Saturday 9:00 a.m.; Sunday 2:00 p.m.

Q. What’s the audition like?

A. The audition, which is recorded for later review, includes newspaper and magazine articles that are typical of our daily programming, as well as a vocabulary list. You should allow about 30 minutes for your audition appointment.

Q. What if I don’t pass the audition? Will I still be able to volunteer?

A. Virginia Voice wouldn’t exist without volunteers. Volunteers are needed to deliver radios to listeners, to help with mailings and to assist at health fairs. We also need volunteers with technical experience to help in the studios with audio editing, to operate the sound board on occasion, as well as to help with occasional computer or other technical problems.

Contact the Program and Volunteer Director at (804) 266-2477 or pgmdir@virginiavoice.org with your questions.