Kahler was born and raised in Mesa, Ariz., and graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in performance as a cellist. She was a member of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra. She began her career in radio at KNAU-FM/Flagstaff in 1989, working as program host and music director. During the summer of 1998, she worked for National Public Radio's "Performance Today." Her interests in music are wide-ranging and include many classical genres, pop, Broadway music, and more. Her current classical favorites are clustered around the early 20th century and include Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis," Respighi's "Ancient Airs and Dances" and the violin concerto by Samuel Barber.