10 episodes

Pause and Listen explores the spectrum of new classical music through the lens of musicians, composers, and art appreciators. Each episode, three panelists join in conversation with John T.K. Scherch, bringing in three pieces of new notated music available on the internet that they feel others should hear. Listeners are encouraged to engage with the music as they see fit, be it listening to the pieces uninterrupted before playing the episode or pausing and listening to the pieces on streaming platforms along with the panelists.

Pause and Listen John T.K. Scherch and Michele Mengel Scherch

    • Music

Pause and Listen explores the spectrum of new classical music through the lens of musicians, composers, and art appreciators. Each episode, three panelists join in conversation with John T.K. Scherch, bringing in three pieces of new notated music available on the internet that they feel others should hear. Listeners are encouraged to engage with the music as they see fit, be it listening to the pieces uninterrupted before playing the episode or pausing and listening to the pieces on streaming platforms along with the panelists.



    1. Mason Bates - The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs: Scene 7, That Can Also Be a Ticking Clock


    2. Pamela Z - Badagada


    3. Errollyn Wallen - Gun Gun Gun


    4. Judah Adashi - Rise

    You can listen to these before or after the episode, or you can pause our podcast and go listen to each piece as we introduce them. 
    Bass Robert Ellsworth Feng is acclaimed for having a “commanding darkness and thickness to his tone,” and is a born collaborator who performs with artists of all mediums. Robert is the recipient of the George Woodhead Prize in Voice and the Peabody Career Development Award and placed second in the NY Classical Music Society International Voice Competition. Performance highlights include Don Giovanni (Il Commendatore) with Kor Productions, The Mikado (Ko-Ko) with Hawaii Opera Theatre, Tobias Picker’s Emmeline (Pastor Avery) with Manhattan School of Music, and more. Robert has premiered new works including Tony Small’s Qadar and Nick Peros’ Lamentation of Ruin. During quarantine, Robert performed in Social Distance Opera's production of Street Scene as Henry Davis, with Seagle Music Colony, and was a featured artist for Tony Small's Virtual Masterclass series for the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington. Robert received his Bachelors at Peabody, his Masters at Manhattan School of Music, and is an alumni of Seagle Music Colony. Robert is also a proud member of the Hawaii Opera Theatre Mae Z. Orvis Opera Studio.

    Taylor-Alexis DuPont is a young and engaging Mezzo-Soprano from Orlando, Florida. Since graduating with her Masters in Voice from the Peabody Conservatory while studying with Denyce Graves, Taylor-Alexis has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, the Ising International Young Artist Festival in Beijing and Suzhou, China, the Glimmerglass Festival, Prototype Festival, Sarasota Opera, St. Petersburg Opera, Opera Orlando, First Coast Opera, Christman Opera and City Lyric Opera. Performance highlights include Cendrillion (Prince Charmant), Così fan tutte (Dorabella), Ruslan and Ludmilla (Prince Ratmir), The Snow Maiden (Lel) and Pinocchio (Pinocchio). Earlier this year Taylor-Alexis performed as an ensemble member and soloist cover in the Metropolitan Opera’s wildly successful production of Porgy and Bess and made her debut with Heartbeat Opera in a new work titled Lady M. Taylor-Alexis is currently working with the Florentine Opera as a Baumgartner studio artist for the 2020-2021 season.

    Praised for her “vocal control and exquisite refinement,” soprano Teresa Ferrara is dedicated to music’s power to transcend social divides and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds. She has performed as a solo vocalist at the Kennedy Center and her chorus work has allowed her to perform often with the National Symphony Orchestra. She has earned many awards for her singing, including the George Woodhead Prize in Voice from the Peabody Conservatory, the Award for Excellence in the Arts from the National Society of Arts and Letters, and The Washington Post Music and Dance Scholarship Award. Ms. Ferrara has performed repeatedly with Maryland Lyric Opera, Baltimore Musicales, and the IN Series. Notable opera credits include Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (Countess Almaviva) and Così fan tutte (Despina), as well as Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore (Giannetta), Massenet's Chérubin (L'Ensoleillad), and Viva V.E.R.D.I. - The Promised End, (Soprano). A graduate of the Master of Music program at Peabody, she plans to continue to pursue musical endeavors that stretch the norms of classical music and seek to educate and serve the community.

    • 50 min


    1. Jonathan Bailey Holland - Halcyon Sun

    2. Julius Eastman - Prelude to The Holy Presence of Joan D’Arc

    3. Jasmine Barnes - Sometimes I Cry

    You can listen to these before or after the episode, or you can pause our podcast and go listen to each piece as we introduce them. 
    A native of Columbus, OH, Tirzah Washington started singing at a very early age. Tirzah received her Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Oakwood University in 2014. While in college, she enjoyed singing with the Aeolians, the premier traveling choir of Oakwood University. Tirzah was able to sing in many different countries with the choir including Wales, England, and Russia. Tirzah was able to continue training to be an opera singer and voice teacher at Peabody Institute, the School of Music for Johns Hopkins University. Tirzah received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Peabody Institute in 2016. Tirzah loves to perform and has had the opportunity to sing on several stages in the Columbus area. One of her most recent achievements was receiving the Theatre Roundtable Award for Excellence in a Lead Role in a Musical for her performance as Celie in The Color Purple. She has been able to perform in many musicals including The Color Purple (Celie), Dreamgirls (Effie Understudy), Hair (Dionne), The Rocky Horror Show (Magenta), and Saturday Night Fever (Candy). Tirzah believes that music in any form has the power to change the world. She is excited to share her talents in any setting.
    Baritone Rahzé Cheatham is a performer with a strong foundation in music, theatre art, and dance applications. This 2020-21 season, they appeared on the digital stage in the world premiere of Mallory, a chamber opera by Baltimore-based composer Nathaniel Wolfgang Parks, adapted for the brand new PoCo Podcast of the Podcast Opera Company. Later, Rahzé returns in the premiere another chamber opera, Our Final Thoughts on Arthur S. Hellerman, by James Warner Duquette. Previously, Rahzé joined Marin Alsop’s production of Leonard Bernstein’s ​MASS​ as a blues soloist and a member of the Street Singer ensemble. Further, they were featured as Hannah before in Laura Kaminsky’s chamber opera, ​As One​, opening at the newly redesigned Motorhouse in Baltimore, MD and closing on the John F. Kennedy Center Millennium Stage in Washington, DC. Rahzé currently holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and a Music Theory from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University.
    Soprano, Carly M. Henderson holds a Bachelors of Music from Peabody Conservatory, under the direction of William Sharp. At Peabody, Carly premiered the role of Louisa in Now We Are Met by Andrew Posner; covered the role of Rose Maurrant in Kurt Weill’s Street Scene; performed as a Sprite in Massenet’s Cendrillion; in the chorus of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail; and in the chorus of Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites. In the 2017-2018 season, she performed as Actor 2/Girl 3 in Courtney Kalbacker’s production of Errollyn Wallen’s Anon, including on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center.

    More information at pauseandlisten.com. Pause and Listen was created by host John T.K. Scherch and co-creator/marketing manager Michele Mengel Scherch.

    • 1 hr 4 min


    1. Stephen Scott - Vikings Of The Sunrise: Fantasy On The Polynesian Star Navigators (Start with “Ocean Drum”)

    2. Sarah Kirkland Snider - Penelope (Start with “Circe and the Hanged Man”)

    3. Laura Kaminsky - As One (Start with “To Know” and “Out of Nowhere”)
    El Schoepf, M.S. (they/she) is a social science researcher who studies and teaches about power, privilege, and oppression in the performing arts. After burning out of a performing career, El sought to improve mental health services in the performing arts sector by becoming a therapist. Their research about stratified economies’ effect on human behavior and experience served as inspiration for an experiential simulation game they developed called “Star Ensemble: Exploring Power and Privilege in Classical Music.” El holds degrees in counseling psychology and music and is currently a trainee at the Gestalt Therapy Institute of Philadelphia.
    Robin (Rob) McGinness is an active operatic baritone, inactive composer, and instructor helping students build the necessary skills needed for diverse careers in the arts. Often featured on stage portraying opera’s “bad boy,” Rob’s operatic credits include the title roles in Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni, as well as Marcello in La Bohème. Committed to promoting and performing new works, Rob regularly premieres new roles, including Ed Wall in Frances Pollock’s award-winning opera Stinney, and Saul Hodkin/Price in The Ghost Train by Paul Crabtree. Rob’s compositions include vocal, theatrical, and orchestral pieces premiered at IngenuityFest, Andy’s Summer Playhouse, and by the Windham Orchestra of Vermont. Rob holds degrees from the Peabody Institute and Oberlin Conservatory and is a returning Marion Roose Pullin Studio Artist at Arizona Opera.

    British-American soprano Claire Galloway’s theatricality covers the gamut of “palpable pain” and “splendid, funny moments” (B.I.T.R.). This summer and next, Claire is a Fellow with the Ravinia Steans Music Institute. She recently sang Sam in Stephen Crino and Joshua Scheid’s Friends House for the new Podcast Opera Company. In 2019-2020 she performed Vitella (Clemenza) and Blanche (Dialogues of the Carmelites), was a semifinalist in the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition, and performed with Opera Lafayette’s 1806 revival of Beethoven’s Léonore. An avid recitalist, she recently presented a recital based on the life of Rosa Ponselle and concerts showcasing Scandinavian and contemporary American compositions. Ms. Galloway’s innovative recital programing has resulted in the best-attended concert event at the Baltimore War Memorial Arts Initiative in past seasons.  Through her teaching studio, she is currently offering a 6-month training program called Core Singer Essentials, starting in October, as well as a free 2-day preview called “Singers Take The Wheel Career Roadmap” on September 25th and 26th. Details at www.clairegalloway.com.

    More information at pauseandlisten.com. Pause and Listen was created by host John T.K. Scherch and co-creator/marketing manager Michele Mengel Scherch. 

    • 54 min
    Afro House

    Afro House

    1. Allison Loggins-Hull - Hammers


    2. Valerie Coleman - Shotgun Houses


    Tomeka Reid - Present Awareness, Mvt. III. Radical Hope

    Alisha Patterson is the co-founder and Managing Director of Afro House. Since the organization’s founding in 2011, Patterson has been at the forefront of producing live experiences that are in alignment with its ambitious mission. They include, Cloud Nebula, an Afrofuturistic sci-fi opera-ballet, the Afro House Concert Series, which celebrates Baltimore’s extraordinary maker scene, and the 100 Year Symposium, a conversation about what a community might be like in 100 years.

    As one of Afro House’s chief architects, Alisha has successfully secured funding from foundations such as the T. Rowe Price and Robert W. Deutsch Foundations. In addition, she has played an instrumental role in the commissions Afro House has received from both local and regional theaters and the highly acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown. She also worked closely with Afro House’s Artistic Director on creating his award-winning Baker Artist Portfolio.

    In 2016 Alisha was tapped by Kaisha Johnson, the Founding Director of Women of Color in the Arts to manage the organization’s flagship program. Under Alisha’s stewardship, the Leadership Through Mentorship program has become a highly sought-after career and community building opportunity for entry level, mid-career and seasoned arts administrators of color. Kibibi Ajanku, the GBCA's Equity and Inclusion Director, appointed Alisha to the Urban Arts Leadership Council in 2019. Alisha has an MA in Organizational Management from The George Washington University, a BA in English Literature and Certificate of Concentration in Women’s Studies from the University of Cincinnati.

    Scott Patterson is a pianist, composer and librettist of incomparable talent, whose work has been described by the Pittsburgh Review-Tribune as “a masterly blend of virtuosity, singing style and beautiful voicing.” His blend of classical, soul and rock music is futuristic, emotive and luxuriant. Since 2012 Patterson has toured with Camille A. Brown & Dancers. He is contributing composer of the Bessie Award winning Mr. TOL E. RAncE and Brown’s critically acclaimed work, BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play and ink. His compositions for these have been performed for audiences at venues such as Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Belfast Festival at Queen’s, White Bird, and more.

    Patterson is co-founder and Artistic Director of Afro House, a Baltimore-based art house committed to creating disruptive, music culture. Through Afro House, Patterson leads the Astronaut Symphony, a contemporary ensemble that creates symphonic performance art pieces. His compositions for the ensemble include the Afrofuturistic opera-ballet, Cloud Nebula and the sci-fi tone poem Ebon Kojo: The Last Tribe. He also serves as Music Director and Composer for the Afro House Concert Series. 

    Patterson is a 2020 Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund Fellow and a recipient of the 2020 Regional Independent Artist Award for Performing Arts from the Maryland State Arts Council. He is a 2019 Baker Artist Award, Mary Sawyers Imboden Awardee, and is a recipient of a Creative Baltimore Fund Grant and Artist/District Grant. He studied under Richard Fields at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music and Phillip Kawin at the Manhattan School of Music.

    • 33 min
    I Care if You Listen

    I Care if You Listen

    1. Icli Zitella - Zona, for violin soloist and 10 string instruments

    2. Michael Abels - "Anthem," from the score to Jordan Peele's Us

    3.Nathalie Joachim - Suite pou Dantan
    Venezuelan violinist Natalie Calma, currently based in Boston, is an enthusiast of new music and improvisation. She is dedicated to promoting living, contemporary music in all of its forms. Natalie is a co-creator of Box Not Found, a violin and clarinet duo that seeks to build and cultivate the foundations for alternative streams of new music while also generating a positive impact on both the local and global communities. Natalie holds degrees from the Interlochen Arts Academy, The Boston Conservatory (BM), where she studied with Lynn Chang, and Boston University (MM), where she studied with Dana Mazurkevich. Natalie plays on a violin made by Venezuelan luthier Matias Herrera, and a bow made by Venezuelan luthier Eduardo “Guayo” Gonzales.
    Sugar Vendil is a composer, pianist, and interdisciplinary artist based in New York City. Her artistic practice is strongly rooted in rigorous discipline as a musician and gradually expanded into performance that integrates music, movement, and unconventional approaches to the piano.  She is a proud second generation Filipinx American. Vendil was recently awarded an ACF | Create commission to write a work for Boston-based duo Box Not Found (May 2020) and was awarded with 2020 Fellowships at the National Arts Club and Sokoloff Arts. She was a 2019 Artist in Residence at High Concept Labs in Chicago and was awarded a 2019 Chamber Music America commission to write a new work for her ensemble, The Nouveau Classical Project, which she founded in 2008. Vendil was a finalist in National Sawdust’s 2019 Hildegard Competition. ETHEL premiered her new string quartet in December 2019 as part of their Homebaked commissioning program. She was a 2019 resident artist at Mabou Mines and an artist in residence at Target Margin Theater. In 2016, she was a Fellow in the Target Margin Institute for Collaborative Theater Making, which encouraged her to further pursue composition and performance making.  She holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance.

    Amanda Cook is a Boston-based editor, writer, and arts administrator with a background in flute performance and higher education. She is the Editor-in-Chief of I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, an award-winning contemporary classical music magazine advocating for historically underrepresented artists and equitable programming. Her training as a performer coupled with her current work in music journalism and nonprofit administration provides a unique perspective from which to view the current state of classical music.

    More information at pauseandlisten.com. Pause and Listen was created by host John T.K. Scherch and co-creator/marketing manager Michele Mengel Scherch. 

    • 39 min
    The Informants

    The Informants

    1. Garth Baxter – From the Heart: Three American Women
    2. Jennifer Jolley – Prisoner of Conscience
    3. Gleb Kanasevich – your fortress

    Soprano Katie Procell has been praised throughout the Baltimore area for her “golden tone and arresting stage presence” (Peter Dayton). Her musical curiosity includes the avant-garde and she has performed Pierrot Lunaire, Ginastera’s third String Quartet, Messiaen’s Harawi, Berio Sequenza III, even Kurtàg’s Attila Fragments. Procell’s past opera credits include Giselle, Jenny, Mel 2, and various roles in the two-woman collection of short new operas called Elevator (ENA Ensemble); Lisa ( La Sonnambula; Opera Alchemy); Susanna ( Le nozze di Figaro; Peabody Conservatory); Giulietta ( I Capuleti e i Montecchi; Alchemy); Krysia (understudy, Out of Darkness; Peabody); Rosina ( Il barbiere di Siviglia; James Madison University); and more. She studies with Elizabeth Futral and has studied with Phyllis Bryn-Julson and Kevin McMillan. Procell has trained at Opera Roanoke (Apprentice Artist), Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, and SongFest. She works closely with composer Peter Dayton and has premiered several of his works and is collaborating with both Dayton and Baxter on upcoming recording projects.
    Award-winning conductor Jordan Randall Smith is the Music Director of Symphony Number One and Assistant Conductor of Hopkins Symphony Orchestra. Smith was recently named Visiting Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Orchestras at Susquehanna University. Smith was formerly Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Dallas Festival of Modern Music and Assistant Conductor of the Peabody Opera Theatre. Smith was lauded for being “an attentive partner” by the Baltimore Sun. His leadership of Mahler’s fourth symphony was praised by the Sun’s Tim Smith: “The third movement, in particular, was quite sensitively molded.” Conductor Alan Gilbert called Jordan’s conducting of Boulez’ Le Marteau sans Maître, “impressive.” An active supporter of new music, Jordan has a discography spanning four commercial releases and a history of commissions, leading over 50 world premieres. Jordan is also a Creative Director of the International Florence Price Festival. Smith was named to the Executive Council for the Institute for Composer Diversity at SUNY-Fredonia in January 2020.
    Ian Power is a composer, performer, and Director of Integrated Arts at the University of Baltimore. Ian’s music is inscrutable, warm, insistent, and performer-driven, and has been performed by ensembles and soloists in the US, UK, Germany, Denmark, and Israel. His writing on rhetoric in new music and reviews of CDs and performances are published in TEMPO, and he has lectured at the American Musicological Society, American Studies Association, and universities in the US, UK, and Turkey. Ian studied with Chaya Czernowin, Steven Takasugi, and John Luther Adams. Ian’s first CD, Diligence, featuring long solo pieces, is out on Edition Wandelweiser Records (Germany) in June 2020. His CD Maintenance Hums, featuring chamber works, is out on Carrier Records (New York) in September 2020. He is writing an orchestra piece for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, to be premiered at the TECTONICS festival in Glasgow in May 2022.

    More information at pauseandlisten.com. Pause and Listen was created by host John T.K. Scherch and co-creator/marketing manager Michele Mengel Scherch. 

    • 35 min

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