Chamber Music Academy Coach
Michael Schaefer is a Colorado native and a 1969 graduate of Poudre High School in Fort Collins. He studied undergraduate and graduate conducting with Wilfred Schwartz and earned a Bachelor’s in Music Education in 1974 and a Master’s in Instruction in 1984 from Colorado State University. Michael retired after teaching for thirty-five years, twenty years as director of orchestras and assistant director of bands at Webber Junior High. During this time he has supervised six student teachers five having stellar careers. Three of Michael’s orchestras have appeared at the Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA) clinic/conference in Colorado Springs. He has recently team taught large classes of orchestra and band at Blevins, Kinard and Walt Clark middle schools. In 2009, Michael received the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) Lifetime Achievement Award.
Michael has been an adjudicator at state and local festivals in Colorado and Wyoming. He has presented his music education sessions, “Large Group Tuning Procedure” and “Teaching Technique Through Performing Literature” (Life after method books) at Clinic/Conferences for Colorado Summer ASTA, CMEA, WMEA, NMMEA, and various colleges and universities in Colorado and Wyoming including the Summer Conducting Seminars at CSU as well as classes for teachers at the Colorado All State Orchestra weekend. Michael co-presented the “Large Group Tuning Procedure” with Leanne Griffey at the 2014 National ASTA Clinic/Conference in Louisville Kentucky.
His arrangement of the Rossini String Sonata No. 3 was performed by the string orchestra at the 1992 Colorado All State Orchestra concert conducted by James McNeal. Concluding the 2011 performance series at the “Rocky Ridge Music Center” in Estes Park, Michael conducted the premier performance of his arrangement of “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen for “String Orchestra and Tenor”. He is currently Board President of “Chamberre of the Rockies” (a summer music camp for adults) at RRMC.
Michael’s conducting responsibilities includes the classroom challenge as a substitute, guest conductor at junior and senior high honor groups, all state high school clinics, student and adult music camps, and an occasional university rehearsal. This summer will be his 14th year as a member of the Colorado-ASTA/Camp Con Brio String faculty. He spent 13 seasons as music director and conductor of the Loveland Chamber Orchestra (1981-1994). He was the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra (FCSO) assistant conductor for 13 years and conducted the summer series for several seasons as well as many special events such as the “Mozart on the Roof” and “Opera Galleria” concerts. Michael also conducted the Colorado premier of Chris Brubeck’s Trombone Concerto in 1996 during a “Beethoven in Blue Jeans” concert.
As a violinist, Michael played with the FCSO for thirty-five consecutive seasons, eight years as assistant concertmaster. He is the founder and co-principal violin with the Quartet Con Brio performing since 1980 and after thirty years has retired from the quartet. He also performs with many of the orchestras and chamber music groups along the Front Range including the “Health and Wellness Orchestra” conducted by Leslie Stuart of the CSU music faculty.
Michael’s son David age 24 is a graduate of CU Boulder in clarinet performance; stepdaughter Emma 24 is working in kitchens in local restaurants and mother of our grandson Atlas 4. Stepson Sean 30 works for Enterprise Car Rentals in the claims department and volunteers at a horse rescue ranch. Michael’s wife Beryl has been a nurse for 33 years and works for UC Health in “Care Management”. In our spare time we enjoy as much time as we can with our grandson Atlas and our Shetland Sheep Dog Gracie. We enjoy films, film festivals, hiking and travel by ourselves or with friends.