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John T.K. Scherch, classical host at WRTI.

John T.K. Scherch

Classical Host

John T.K. Scherch (JohnTK@wrti.org) shares the morning’s musical and other offerings weekdays on WRTI 90.1. Previously, he was the first new host on WBJC in Baltimore in nearly 20 years, hosting the evening, Sunday afternoon, and request programs, and he is also an alumnus of U92, the college radio station of West Virginia University and a consecutive national Station of the Year winner.

John uses his voice both unpitched and pitched, as he is an active classical bass. He has performed numerous times in the Baltimore-Washington area, including a performance with DC company IN Series that resides on then-Washington Post classical music critic Anne Midgette’s “best-ever” list. His most-performed roles are Sarastro in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and as the bass soloist in the Verdi Requiem, and he has also sung the role of Prince Gremin in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin in Philadelphia with the Russian Opera Workshop, held at the Academy of Vocal Arts. John holds degrees in music from Peabody Conservatory and West Virginia University.

John’s favorite composer, restricting the selection to the canon, is Richard Strauss (the opera Die schweigsame Frau is a revelation in the expression of humanity through music), though his tastes are necessarily elaborated by his interests outside the canon, from the creative additions to the chamber wind repertoire by Imani Winds to the sample-based electronic compositions of Oneohtrix Point Never to the experimental drone metal of Sunn O))) and in many different directions within and outside of that spectrum (he spent more time in his college radio days directing the metal program than the classical program). He is also a fierce advocate for the promotion of music that was and is left out of the canon for non-musical reasons and will always recommend those works alongside the standard repertoire when introducing someone to classical music, which he has done both on the radio and on his podcast, Pause and Listen.

When not talking about, performing, or practicing music, John is usually looking for new music to listen to, both classical and otherwise. He also enjoys riding his bike, as well as more dangerous outdoor activities like skiing and rock climbing that he gets to do less often. John will rarely turn down the opportunity to play table games (foosball, ping-pong, etc.) and enjoys board games as well, often alongside an overwrought meal he’s cooked paired with a good craft beer or perhaps followed by a heavily smoked spirit.

John grew up in Pittsburgh and has spent his entire adult life in rival sports cities—from Morgantown to Baltimore and now Philadelphia—but he has always harbored a great love for the City of Brotherly Love and is excited to spend his mornings listening to the music together with WRTI listeners.

Hear John on weekdays from 6 to 10 AM.