Westborough student sets sights on music career
By Bill Shaner, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Jesse Scheinbart, an 18-year-old senior at Westborough High School, has made a name for himself as a vocal performer and actor within the school. Next year, Scheinbart will continue his passion for music and performance at Syracuse University, where he will study music industry, a program that blends performance with business.
“It excites me because after I graduate I’ll be set up so that I know what to do in the real world rather than just having the skills to perform,” he said.
Scheinbart is involved in three of Westborough High School’s eight choral performance ensembles – the Concert Choir, the smaller, more select Chamber Singers, and a barbershop quartet he put together with a few other students last year called Perfect Fourths. Scheinbart has been involved with the choral program since elementary school, when it was required.
“I think in middle school I realized how much I really liked it, and I just kept going from there,” he said.
Perfect Fourths, which started as an independent project of Scheinbart’s, is now an official ensemble in Westborough High’s choral program. Scheinbart still picks the repertoire, which consists mostly of barbershop classics from the 1920s and ‘30s, but has also toyed with renditions of songs from children’s movies like “The Lion King” and “Hercules.”
The choral program recently returned from a trip to Annapolis, Md., where they participated in and won a choral competition with several other high schools.
“We definitely set ourselves to a high standard,” Scheinbart said. “I think we can do that thanks to our director and the number of people involved.”
The choral program’s director of two years, Alyson Greer Espinoza, has worked closely with Scheinbart and attests to his leadership ability in the context of a performance.
“He has a great ear. He’s very musical,” she said. “He’s able to conceptualize a piece of music -hear the piece as a whole and make decisions when it comes to phrasing and vowel placing.”
Scheinbart is also heavily involved in the theater program. This year he performed the male lead, Tevya, for the production “Fiddler on the Roof.”
“What helps him on stage, with his voice, is that he’s able to use his voice to express emotion so he doesn’t always necessarily have to express emotion with gestures,” Espinoza said.
Between four years participating in the Central District Honors Choir and two years participating in the All-state Honors Choir, Scheinbart has racked up a laundry list of accolades. He also participated in a small tour of Europe last year with the group Sound of America, a performance group based out of Elizabethtown, Penn. Sound of America holds auditions for young musicians nationally, then sends a choir and band overseas once a year to perform.
On his own time, Scheinbart plays the guitar and banjo, and maintains a love for choral music in all forms. On the prospect of succeeding as a career vocal performer, Scheinbart was hopeful, but also pragmatic, citing the business component of his degree as a good skillset to fall back on.
In the end, he said, it comes down to pursuing his passion.
“As of right now singing is what I enjoy doing most.”
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