As a double alumnus, the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music is beyond excited to welcome Dr. Jonathan Schallert back to the University in a new capacity as our Community Engagement Coordinator.
Schallert moved to Memphis in 2005 to get his Masters in orchestral conducting and horn performance at the School of Music. After graduating with his degree in 2008 Schallert remained in the Memphis community and returned to the School of Music to begin working on his PhD in Music Education in 2016.
“It was so great learning at a place where you felt valued as both an artist and a unique individual with distinctive skills, goals, and potential,” said Schallert.
In between his studies at the School of Music Schallert began working with both the Soulsville Charter school as their high school orchestra and jazz band director, and the Germantown Performing Arts Center’s Youth Symphony Program as assistant conductor. Shortly after graduating with his PhD in 2020 Schallert continued his work with the Germantown Performing Arts Center and began teaching orchestra at Rhodes College.
“It was during this time that I really started to dig into the music community of Memphis,” said Schallert, “Throughout my 16 years in the Memphis music community, I have learned that it is easy to live and work in a silo- often leading to feelings of disconnection and burnout. The relationships I have fostered and grown over my time here continue to sustain and motivate me to work for music, artistry, and beauty throughout this city that I now call home.”
In his new position as Community Engagement Coordinator, Schallert hopes to encourage the symbiotic relationship between the School of Music and the Memphis community. He hopes to foster opportunities for the musicians at the School of Music to “both share the gift of music with others as well as experience the joy and growth that occurs when you perform for an audience.” Schallert plans on being strategic about his approach, developing ways of gathering data that can be used to improve partnerships as well as apply for grants and other funding opportunities.
“My biggest goal is to be a resource for faculty, students, and the community- to help in any way I can to grow meaningful relationships that promote the phenomenal music being created here at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music,” said Schallert, “I am thrilled that the School of Music has decided to place such a high value on community outreach by creating this position and I can’t wait to strengthen existing connections and build new bridges between this exceptional school, the community of Memphis, and beyond!”
If you are a faculty member, student, or community member and you would like to get in contact with Dr. Schallert, you can reach him at this email.