Central Music Prof Lives Out Rock-n-Roll Fantasy


Courtesy of Joseph Schenck

In addition to his job as a professor, Joseph Schenck indulges his passion for music further as part of two performing musical acts.

Imagine writing and performing music with your siblings and then walking into a classroom at San Jacinto College Central Campus to teach your passion to music-loving students. Imagine creating art and then helping others create art. Well, for Joseph Schenck, this whimsical sounding fantasy is actually his reality.

Professor Joseph Schenck is the professor of Music Composition and Theory at San Jac, the director of the student group Orpheus, and a songwriter and performer in two bands.

Schenck’s love for music is not a random interest. While neither of his parents were directly involved in the production of music, according to Schneck, they introduced their children to the musical genius of Beethoven and Wagner, as well as that of the Rolling Stones and the Beatles.

At an early age, Schenck realized finding his place in the musical pantheon was his calling.

“I grew up in a house where classical music and rock music were all around me,” Schenck says. “When I was young, I heard Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’ and it was at that moment that I knew I wanted to pursue music and music composition.”

As well as contributing to Schenck’s passion for music, his parents also fostered a healthy relationship between Schenck and his two brothers, Andrew and Rico. The three brothers have gone on to create and perform music together as two performing musical acts, Pangaea and The Reckoning.

“My brother Andrew is the drummer in Pangaea,” Schenck says. “[He] also acts as the band’s manager, and I have the role as one of the primary songwriters.”

For some, the idea of working professionally with their siblings may sound like a recipe for disaster, but Schenck and his siblings have a harmonious working relationship.

“The roles we each have in the band came about naturally,” Schenck says, “because of our personalities and talents, and it’s created a strong bond throughout. I also played in the band The Reckoning with both Andy and our younger brother Rico.”

While Schenck draws inspiration from his siblings and bandmates, he is also supported by his students who offer feedback and a critical eye that allow him to look at his music, and music in general, in another light.

“My students, just like other performers I work with, each hear and see music in unique ways that often lead to new discoveries for me – both in a particular piece of music or in an entire genre,” Schenck says.

Moreover, Schenck is the director of Orpheus, which provides him the opportunity to continue preparing future musicians and music instructors.

“Orpheus is a student organization that is set up to promote the music of the student composers at San Jacinto College,” Schenck says. “After the students compose their works, they then must organize rehearsals with musicians – which, often times, includes themselves as one of the performers.”

While Schenck continues to live out his fantasy-like reality – writing, performing, and delivering music to the world – he considers teaching his greatest achievement, saying the best part is seeing his students “finding success as performers and educators in music.”