For incoming instructor of double bass Jonathan Colbert, the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music is the latest stop on a musical journey that has taken him around the world and back again.
Colbert, a native of Atlanta, GA, comes to Memphis by way of Copenhagen, Denmark, where he spent six years serving as co-principal bass of the Royal Danish Orchestra.
“We are excited to welcome Jonathan to the School of Music’s faculty,” said Dr. Kevin Sanders, Director of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. “He holds a wealth of experience, having performed in some of the greatest orchestras in the United States and Europe, and we are delighted to see all that he will bring to our students and the Performance Division this fall.”
Colbert comes from a family of music educators and started playing in middle school because his mother’s orchestra needed a bassist. In addition, he played in his father’s jazz band throughout high school.
“It was great to have them around listening growing up,” said Colbert. “I’m so appreciative of everything I’ve learned from them.”
Colbert brings a diverse teaching background to the school of music, with experience instructing nearly all ages and skill levels. His youngest student is currently in the sixth grade, while his oldest is “well into adulthood.”
“It’s very important to be able to meet the student where they are,” he says. “I’ve spent enough time teaching to know that each student is different and everyone learns in their own way. You have to be very sensitive, supportive and involved in your approach to be successful.”
Colbert’s academic pedigree includes scholastic training at Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School, heavy national and international performing experience with orchestras ranging from Philadelphia to the Royal Danish Opera Orchestra, as well as success in international double bass competitions.
“The depth and width of the pool of candidates for this position was truly staggering but Jonathan blew us away, standing apart with his ability to communicate so concisely with students and his superlative musicianship,” said Dr. Michael Shults, Assistant Professor of Saxophone with the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. “I’m so thrilled to welcome Jonathan as a colleague, and look forward to witnessing his teaching career further blossom in Memphis.”