If you’ve listened to the afternoon show today, or perhaps Listener’s Choice this past Friday, you will have heard that today, June 27th, was my last day on WBJC. Some of you have likely already heard that I’m only going up two hours on I-95 to Philadelphia, to take over the morning slot on WRTI. I apologize if this time change interferes with your listening habits if you made a point of listening to me, which I have heard from some of you is the case, and I couldn’t be more grateful for your support over the past few years (and I assure those who have emailed me over the past few days that I will get back to you in short order).
Apart from your comments about me as an announcer, you’ve referred to my singing, my programming philosophy, and my affinity for metal—I assure you that all of those things will continue, and I hope you’ll forgive my taking the time to encourage you, particularly regarding the second of those, to help me continue in that regard by spreading knowledge and enthusiasm among even the most casual of your music-listening friends about music you’ve heard that you were previously unfamiliar with, especially if it’s by a composer whose works were once or are still overlooked for reasons that have nothing to do with the music. I believe that increasing this knowledge will help generate enthusiasm among newer audiences who may be under the impression that classical music is not for them—whether they’ve been told so or have come to that conclusion based on what they’ve observed—but there are plenty of performers and composers from today and yesterday who demonstrate plainly that classical music is by and for everyone.
In a time where the future of our art remains uncertain, I believe that the more welcoming we can be, the more likely it is that we and future generations will still get to hear the great works that have shaped our understanding of classical music, alongside works that didn’t get a fair shot until recently, as well as works that are being composed as we speak. Baltimore is certainly a worthy ground on which to test this theory of mine, if the classical community is willing, and while I can only help now as a visitor, I look forward to what can be done here. If you got this far, I greatly appreciate your indulgence; most importantly, though, thank you very much for your support these past three and a half years, and I assure you this is no farewell—we’ll see each other soon enough.
– John T.K. Scherch