Pause and Listen

The Nice Thing About New Music

July 28, 2020 John T.K. Scherch and Michele Mengel Scherch Season 2 Episode 1
Pause and Listen
The Nice Thing About New Music
Show Notes Chapter Markers

1. Terence Blanchard's "What Makes a Man a Man" from The Champion: (at 32:50)

2. Julia Wolfe's Fire in my mouth: III. Protest

3. Kirsten Childs' Big Booty Tupelo Gal from Bella: An American Tall Tale

4. Laura Elise Schwendinger's The Artist's Muse


Jarrod Lee bass baritone, hails from Alabama and presently resides in Maryland. He has received rave reviews from Maryland Theatre, Opera News, and The Washington Post. Last season Jarrod made a Metropolitan Opera debut as one of the featured soloists in Porgy and Bess and a role debut as the Undertaker in the same opera with Atlanta Opera. Past roles include: Elviro in Tale of Serse with the In Series, Angelotti in Tosca with Annapolis Opera, and Le Bailli in Werther with Opera Delaware. Jarrod has performed in community outreach works commissioned by Washington National Opera called In the Smoke of the Sting and Just out the Window by Tom Minter. Jarrod has been a finalist in the Annapolis Opera, Harlem Opera Theater Vocal Competitions and a semifinalist in Austria’s Meistersinger. In new works, Jarrod premiered the roles Levi in Cloud Nebula by Scott Patterson with Afro House Baltimore, and Joe Louis in Shadowboxer by Frank Proto with the Maryland Opera Studio. As a librettist, Jarrod’s work aims to contribute in the canon of stories by Black Americans which are rarely seen on the operatic stage.

Frances Pollock‘s music is inspired by a variety of artists including Missy Elliot, Dolly Parton, Whitney Houston, Joni Mitchell, Stephen Sondheim, Beyonce, Julia Wolfe, and Billy Joel. She has written operas for Washington National Opera, the PROTOTYPE Festival, Chicago Lyric, Seattle Opera and American Opera Projects. Her opera, Stinney (Co-librettist Tia Price), won the “Best of Baltimore” award in 2015 and was programmed at the 2019 PROTOTYPE Festival. Her opera “Earth to Kenzie” (librettist Jessica Murphy Moo) is currently touring with both Chicago Lyric and Seattle Opera in the 2019-2020 season. Frances is a founding member of the new music non-profit, Prima Volta. When she is not writing music, she is singing in choirs, cooking dinner for friends and family, exploring New Haven, running with her wife and best friend, Emily, and cheering on her favorite minor league baseball team, the Hartford Yard Goats.

Melissa Wertheimer is a flutist and piccoloist who specializes in new music. She performs throughout the Baltimore-DC region, and is a core member of Great Noise Ensemble and Occasional Symphony. Melissa melds her passions for music, research, and cultural heritage into a career as an archivist and librarian who shares historic musical documents with all lovers of music. Melissa is a Music Reference Specialist at the Library of Congress, Archivist of the Music Library Association, and board member of Occasional Symphony in Baltimore. She formerly held adjunct faculty positions at the Johns Hopkins University and Howard Community College. Melissa holds a M.L.I.S. in Archives and Digital Curation from the University of Maryland, a M.M. in Piccolo from the Peabody Institute, and a B.M. in Flute from Ithaca College.

Jarrod Lee // Terence Blanchard
Frances Pollock // Julia Wolfe and Kirsten Childs
Melissa Wertheimer // Laura Elise Schwendinger