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 Master’s in Instruction in 1984 from Colorado State University. He was also part of Mr. Schwartz’s private violin studio since he was in 4th grade.
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 6 student teachers 5 having stellar careers. Troy Raper and Michael Hopkins, PHD are gaining state and national recognition as music educators. Three of his orchestras have appeared at the Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA) clinic/conference in Colorado Springs. In 2009, Michael received the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) Lifetime Achievement Award. In his retirement he is developing two workshops; one for “Large Group Tuning Procedures” and “Teaching Technique Through Literature”. Also in the works is a class in building balsa wood violins as a science and music elective at the high school level.
Michael has judged at state and local festivals and has presented clinics for ASTA, CMEA, and various colleges and universities in Colorado and Wyoming. 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” in honor of Will Schwartz, Roland Jones and Charlene Whippler.
Michael’s conducting responsibilities include the daily classroom challenge, guest conductor at junior and senior high honor groups, all state high school clinics, student and adult music camps, and an occasional university rehearsal. He also organized and conducted an Elementary Orchestra program from 2001 to 2006. This summer will be his ninth year as a member of the Colorado-ASTA Middle School String Camp 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.
As a violinist, Michael has played with the FCSO for 35 consecutive seasons, eight years as assistant concertmaster. He is the founder and co-principal violin with the Quartet-Con Brio performing since 1980. He also performs with many of the orchestras and chamber music groups along the Front Range.
Michael has a son David and stepdaughter Emma, both 16 years old; a stepson Sean 23 years old and a graduate of Rocky Mountain High School. Michael’s wife Beryl is a perinatal nurse at McKee Hospital in Loveland working in the Level Two nursery with new babies and their moms. Beryl is in her sixth year of oboe lessons. Beryl recently earned her Master’s in Educational Leadership with a focus in English literature. She is currently working a new job with Cheyenne Regional Hospital’s satellite WIC clinic and commuting five days a week.