Chorus Member Profile
A May Festival Family: The Schieves
Singing with a major orchestra has always been a family affair for Julie Schieve. In addition to her 25 years with the May Festival Chorus, her father sang for fifteen years with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, and her sister has spent thirty years with the Dallas Symphony Chorus. She jokes that all together, her father, sister, children, and nieces must have sung Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana at least twenty times. However, one of those performances stands out among the rest.
When Julie’s son Brad sang with the Cincinnati Boychoir, the two of them performed the piece together with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at Music Hall. The boys were given strict instructions to stand up straight, pay attention, and stay focused during the performance. That included the “no waving to your mother” rule so many young performers struggle to honor.
As Julie entered the stage that day with the rest of the May Festival Chorus, she looked up to the first balcony to see if she could pick out her son. She saw his little hand slowly come up from his side, give a quick little wave, and shoot back down.
Fortunately, he didn’t get caught.
Julie first joined the May Festival Chorus in 1978, but only spent one year with the group before heading to Vanderbilt to get her Masters in Education. Her sister Beth earned her law degree from Vanderbilt the same year. Once her degree was secured and her little children were in school full-time, Julie and her husband David decided it was time for her to return to the May Festival Chorus.
“It is an absolute pleasure to give back to the community through music in partnership with a first class orchestra.”
In addition to her membership in the May Festival Chorus, Julie has been involved with Mason Community Theatre, Hyde Park Methodist Church, and the local Gamma XI chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma – an honor society for teachers.
After a career as a reading specialist and sometime music teacher, Julie is retired. However, she hasn’t entirely left the classroom. Through her church, Julie tutors students at Rothenberg Preparatory Academy and supports their summer reading program.
Hear some of Julie’s favorite choral works from her time with the May Festival here.