“Enjoy where you are, and make great music happen, daily.”
– Jo-Michael Scheibe
What’s your passion?
What do you do in your life that defines you?
In Ryan Guth’s Find Your Forte podcast with Jo-Michael Scheibe, Dr. Scheibe is asked to describe himself in one sentence. For a man who does so much, he has to laugh before responding – this is quite a challenge.
He’s a music educator, conductor, teacher, administrator, counselor, letter-writer. Just about everything you need done, he can do.
Jo-Michael Scheibe is a native Californian, growing up in Orange County with a passion for music from a young age.
Music education requires passion and dedication. Mr. Scheibe knew he was destined to teach when he was a junior in highschool at just 16 years old. His parents were German immigrants, so he attended Parochial school where he was introduced to the joy of choir.
With Ryan Guth, Dr. Scheibe discusses formative experiences in our early years. What shapes us are things that we remember last. Experiences in adolescence are valuable not for the specific events, but because of the people you meet along the road who influence you. Sometime you don’t even realize their effect. For Scheibe, highschool taught him about the mechanism of teaching. People will walk into rehearsal, smile and say, “Well, why don’t you try it this way?” and completely challenge your perspective.
Proudest musical moment?
For Jo-Michael Scheibe, it’s difficult to put one over the other. Singing in a conference is exciting, but what makes him especially proud when he sees students learn in a way that they’ll keep this experience with them forever.
Scheibe performed a program of Holocaust music. After an emotional performance, there’s dead silence in the room and the students are so moved from the material that they walk off with tears in their eyes.
Scheibe’s “forte” is working with living composers. Folks reach out to him on Facebook, asking “Is there a chance to get this published?” And he makes sure it gets heard. The Chamber Singers will sing or record them. So it’s in the hands of the public. But it’s a matter of taste. It’s based on personal preferences and there’s a lot of music out there.
One of these composers worked together with my students with the music and talked about what he had sung. At the end, he walked out, the choir left, and he sat there and wept. It was incredibly moving to see the interaction of the composer with the students singing his work. It’s really unique experience to work with living composers.
Each convention and concert has its own memory. It’s always about the music and it comes to the singers in a very unique way. It’s between you and the choir, or a classroom moment where the right questions were asked. These are the proudest musical moments.