Matt Jackfert

All Things Considered Host, Music Composer

Matt is the radio host of All Things Considered on West Virginia Public Broadcasting, a composer and a classical music host. He wrote, recorded, and produced two new themes for the West Virginia Public Broadcasting radio news magazine, West Virginia Morning, which feature folk influences. Matt composed the themes for news programs The Legislature Today as well as West Virginia Talks. He also wrote music for the West Virginia Public Broadcasting documentaries on Poverty and Senator Jay Rockefeller IV.

Matt is the son of Jennifer Jackfert and the late Dr. Kent Jackfert. He completed his undergraduate Composition degree at West Virginia University, while studying under Dr. John Beall, as well as his undergraduate Chinese degree. He finished his Master's in Composition at University of Texas in Austin having studied under Daniel Welcher, Yevgeniy Sharlat, Russell Pinkston, Donald Grantham, and Bruce Pennycook. He continues to compose for concert music and film and media scoring.

Jackfert has been played by several ensembles in and around West Virginia including the WVU Wind Symphony, WVU Symphony Orchestra, the West Virginia University Choir, the River Cities Orchestra, Waynesburg University, Marshall University Wind Symphony, West Virginia Youth Symphony, and George Washington High School Band, among others. In addition, his symphonic work, Ripples, was read by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.  Two of his works have been selected for the Society of Composers (SCI) National Student Conference and SEAMUS National Conference. In May of 2014, Jackfert's "On the Shores of Qingdao" was played by the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra in Charleston, WV at the Clay Center. Between 2012 and 2013 he was named director of the award-winning a capella choir, Collegium Musicum, at the University of Texas in Austin.

Jackfert has recently started creating film and media scores for various projects. Some of those include the score for the iOS game, I Dig It: Journey to the Core, developed by Austin-based company, InMotion Software as well as music for the award-winning short film, My Super Valentine, by filmmaker Jing Yang.

To listen to his music, be sure to check out or

Ways to Connect

Jim Lange

In these strange times, you may have been missing a familiar voice on the air--the voice of long-time Classical host, Frank Stowers. Frank has been asked to stay at home by our management here at WVPB in order to keep healthy during the Covid-19 pandemic. We wanted to check in on him and see how he and his wife, Emita, were doing, so Matt Jackfert called him and had a conversation with him.

Joshua Brown Photography

WVSO Flutist, WVSU flute teacher, and new music advocate Lindsey Goodman has just released her third album this past week. Featuring all sorts of living composers, this CD stretches the boundaries of solo flute music as well as music for flute and electronics. The album starts off with the jazzy "Bleuz" by Josh Oxford, which at times reminds one of the flute singing by Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull. It moves through more stunning solo flute pieces until it hits flute and electronic piece "Butterfly Within" by Mara Helmuth. Goodman switch-hits on the Alto Flute during the third movement of Alla Elena Cohen's "Three Duos for Alto Flute and Cello". And finally, her Leviathan Trio makes an appearance in the final track "Flight 710 to Cabo San Lucas" with Hannah Presley on cello and Joseph Dangerfield on piano. 

Matt Jackfert

Singer-songwriter Walter DeBarr is using his unique voice and turbulent past to create and spread a heartfelt message across Appalachia. Growing up a black man in mostly-white Buchannon, WV, DeBarr had it tough among his peers. "I got beat up alot and kids would mess with me. Kids who didn't understand."

Lalena Price, WVPB

The choir director of the Appalachian Children's Chorus has some heartwarming goals for her choir and for their upcoming concert this December. Artistic and Founding director Selina Midkiff says, "One of the things I want to do in my space is to create, first of all, a safe place for children--they are safe here. And then I want us to spread the joy and spread that feeling wherever we go." Mrs. Midkiff says that these goals are accomplished not necessarily because of her but because of the atmosphere the children create. "Its been decades of these children building this environment."

"It's a place that's kind of our second home at this point." That's what pianist Joel Cummins says about Charleston, SC, the location of a new music festival, the Woodlands Festival. The event is being put together by Joel's band, Umphrey's McGee themselves, for its inagural run this November 7th, 8th and 9th. He says the location looks to be on a beautiful 6000-acre nature preserve, and, says talent will abound with a lineup that has the likes of Big Something, The Empire Strikes Brass, Zach Deputy, and of course, Umphrey's McGee. You can still find tickets, including single-day passes here

Alysse Gafkjen

"I think sometimes we just look way too past the present and are sort of blinded to...our ability to create beauty in the present." That was the meditative response from singer/songwriter Cris Jacobs when asked about the meaning of the title to his newest album "Color Where You Are". Recently Jacob's life has changed drastically with the birth of his child and now has been focused on creating music in the present instead of waiting for it to happen. This new lifestyle help put the impetus on Jacobs to write this new album--even between changing diapers.

World-renowned West Virginia Pianist Barbara Nissman recently released her latest project from Three Oranges Recordings. Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Ramey is the 26th recording collaboration among Nissman, piano technician David Barr, and producer Bill Purse. This newest CD features the dazzling pianism of Rachmaninoff Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, the short fragment and possibly last notes of Prokofiev in the Piano Sonata No. 10 in E minor, the adventurous Ramey Piano Sonata No. 10, and the beautiful Rachmaninoff Six Moment Musicaux. 

South American quartet Andes Manta graced us with their presence at the studios of West Virginia Public Broadcasting. With large drums, guitars, and a myriad of flutes, the four Lopez brothers performed a few of their favorite selections in the Andean tradition. The four Brothers, Fernando, Luis, Bolivar, and Jorge, also spoke of their Ecuadorian upbringing, their instruments, and the uniqueness of their Andean music. 

This weekend, singers from Bluefield College will perform a concert in preparation for a tour of Europe later in the year. The Bluefield College Variations Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. John Moir will sing as part of the Concerts @ St. John's series this Sunday 2/3 at 4 PM at St. John's Episcopal Church in Charleston, WV. 

Parma Records

WVSO principal flutist, Lindsey Goodman, returned to the WVPB studios this week to share with us her new album "Returning to Heights Unseen: New Music for Flute". In our interview she tells us about her time recording the album at Tuff Sound Recording in Pittsburgh and her interactions with different composers. "Some composers were really hands on... and some of the composers, were like, after the first take--'Great, we're done!'" 

All this week, Maestro André Raphel and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra are hosting the East Meets West Festival and Concert in Wheeling. This includes events like "The Art and Tradition of Storytelling", which took place on Wednesday (3/14); "A Musical Journey Through Chinese and Western Culture", which will take place Thursday evening (3/15); and a WSO concert, which is happening Friday evening (3/16).

"I'm home again." That was a declaration by world-renowned Euphonium player, Steven Mead, following his 5-week journey across the world. Mead found himself performing in several different countries this summer including the Netherlands, Italy, Lithuania, South Korea, and China.

"Keep on pickin'"-- That's one of the many mantras of legendary composer, conductor, and performer David Amram. He used that mantra when sending out his composition portfolio to job prospects. Several times that portfolio was returned to him unopened, so he simply changed the address on the package and sent it out again. In 1966, however, his portfolio caught the attention of another legendary composer and performer, Leonard Bernstein, and he received the position of composer-in-residence with the New York Philharmonic. 

"I think he's been such a great spokesperson for the arts... and really for music in general... I think he's really been someone who's been able to help classical music progress past the traditional venues and audiences that one might normally expect," says Wheeling Symphony conductor, André Raphel, about pianist and radio personality Christopher O'Riley.

(Chad Botkin, NYT)

"Francis Vincent Zappa" or legendary rock-star, Frank Zappa, was one of the biggest influences of the music of composer John Luther Adams. As were composers Edgard Varèse and Henry Cowell, who wrote edgy, avante-guarde music that isn't exactly melodic. "I couldn't get enough of it," Adams said thinking about how he dug through records of these independent-minded composers. 

A few weeks ago, the students of the Appalachian Children's Chorus and their founding director, Selina Midkiff, stopped by our studios at West Virginia Public Broadcasting. They graced us with their youthful energy and a true dedication to music-making. 

Lindsey Goodman

 This Wednesday, Lindsey Goodman, principal flutist with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra joined us live in studio to discuss her recently-released debut solo album Reach through the Sky. On the album, Goodman not only plays soprano flute and alto flute, but she also sings mezzo-soprano on a number of songs. All of the composers on the album are living American composers, because as Goodman jokes, "Beethoven never returns my calls." 

Vanessa Briceño Photography

World-renowned violinist Luosha Fang and Maestro Grant Cooper of the WVSO graced us with their presence at our West Virginia Public Broadcasting studios this Thursday with live performances and interviews. Ms. Fang will be joining the WVSO this Saturday performing Jean Sibelius's Violin Concerto in D minor for an all-Sibelius concert.

Delos Records.

Recently, both students and faculty from West Virginia University teamed up to perform and record the music of Mary McAuliffe for a CD from the Delos label. The reason? WVU piano professor, Lucy Mauro says, "We really liked her music, so we wanted to record it." Fair enough.

McAuliffe had written a set of songs for Mauro and tenor, Donald George, and the pair fell in love with McAuliffe's compositions.


Hidden in one of the "Coolest Small Towns in America" (Lewisburg, WV), is a world-renowned pianist who has played with some of the world's top orchestras. Barbara Nissman moved to the Mountain State in 1989, and now she's bringing her talents up I-64 to Charleston this weekend.

Renae Phillips

Although the Kanawha Valley has had some economic struggles in recent years, there still stands a full-functioning and devoted theatre and arts community. Forces from all around the valley continue to converge on a production, and a receptive audience is there to receive it (even on a Sunday matinee no less!).

Mark Records

Years ago, conductor Andrew Traschel was surfing YouTube - like many do. He came across a composition that fascinated him: Mason Bates's "Mothership"Upon viewing, Traschel immediately emailed the composer asking for the possibility to arrange the composition for wind ensemble. This began a series of events that led to the creation of a debut album. 

As he was conducting the ending of the American premiere of Kim André Arnesen's Requiem, conductor David Donathan said his cheeks hurt because he was smiling so much. Donathan had just pulled off a once-in-a-lifetime performance by putting together an ensemble composed of the Opus Chorale of West Virginia and community orchestra performers at Christ Church United Methodist in Charleston.

This October 6th at 7 PM, the West Virginia Symphony League will be showing off the latest fashion of the season during their Fashion Show fundraiser at the University of Charleston Erma Byrd Gallery. Over 50 models will adorn clothing from over 20 retailers in a tribute to local community heroes.

Thursday Oct. 1st at 7:30 PM, world renowned string quartet, Amernet, and the WVU Orchestra will follow the direction of Mitchell Arnold on stage at the Lyell B. Clay Theater in Morgantown. The concert is free to all WVU students who have a student ID to give  exposure to all the students and faculty have to offer at the School of Music.

Jeff Higley

Cellist Julian Schwarz performed live in our radio studios at WVPB this Friday. He stopped by to preview his performance of the Dvořák Cello Concerto with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (9/19 at 8 PM). Maestro Cooper joined Schwarz to discuss the Cello Concerto as well as Beethoven's 7th and Suppé's Light Cavalry Overture, which he will be conducting on this Opening Night Concert. 

Cellist Julian Schwarz will join us live on radio during Classical Music with Matt Jackfert starting at 2:06 PM this Friday (9/18).

Schwarz will discuss his upcoming performance of the Dvořák Cello Concerto with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra as well as his career that's been skyrocketing in the short time since his orchestral debut at age 11.

Today the Montclaire String Quartet shared with us some of their talents by performing Johan Halvorsen's Pasacaglia for Violin and Viola after JF Handel's Harpsichord Suite No. 7 in G minor live in studio. They also brought along Scott Woodard, Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities of West Virginia State University to discuss their new partnership with WVSU.

Check them out Sept. 3rd, 2015 at 7:30 PM at the Davis Fine Arts Building at WVSU.

Matt Jackfert

Have you ever wondered how to create your own album? Or maybe were just curious as to how a band goes from their garage to professional recording studio? Let Matt Jackfert take you through a 10-step process of creating your very own album by following Charleston-based group, The Company Stores, as they went from playing in basements and garages in 2013, to releasing a full album in 2014 called Rollin' In.

Matt Jackfert

Ever wondered how a band makes it from garage to professional studio? Join us this Memorial Day on radio as we go inside the making of an album. We track Charleston-based band The Company Stores as they create their first album Rollin' In. On Monday night at 8 PM, Matt Jackfert will walk you through each step and will give you a behind-the-scenes tour as we listen in on the planning and recording of the album.