B i o g r a p h y
Brian A. Schmidt is Associate Professor of Choral Music at Baylor University where he conducts the esteemed Baylor A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers in addition to teaching courses for the graduate program in choral conducting. He is also the Artistic Director of the South Dakota Chorale, a professional chorus organization in Sioux Falls, SD.
As founder and Artistic Director of the SD Chorale, Schmidt manages a roster of professional singers from around the United States. His leadership has guided the ensemble to rapid growth and recognition, as well as the release of several commercial albums in collaboration with Grammy award-winning producer, Blanton Alspaugh, and the signing of an international recording contract in 2014 with PENTATONE, a Dutch classical label. He also received the prestigious invitation to conduct the SD Chorale at the 2015 ACDA National Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah. Brian was selected by ACDA to represent America in the International Conductor Exchange Program with Sweden, resulting in study and guest conducting opportunities in Sweden during the fall of 2015.
Prior to Baylor, Schmidt worked at Duke University where he conducted the Duke Vespers Ensemble and monthly Bach Cantata Series. Performances by the all-volunteer Bach Choir, professional soloists, and Cappella Baroque (a professional period-instrument orchestra founded by Schmidt in 2013) drew large audiences and were hailed as "the Triangle's not-to-be missed event." The Duke Vespers Ensemble led weekly candlelit Choral Vespers services in Duke Chapel and presented a range of concerts from Renaissance and Baroque masterworks with period instruments to modern works for organ and saxophone. They performed at conferences such as the 2016 Southern Division Convention of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA) and Boston Early Music Festival in 2013 and 2015. Schmidt produced two commercial recordings at Duke, which can be found on the MSR Classics label.
He was previously the founder and Artistic Director of the Dakota Men’s Ensemble, which also appeared at national, regional, and state ACDA conventions Brian graduated from the University of North Texas, where he completed MM and DMA degrees under Jerry McCoy and Richard Sparks, along with early music studies under Lyle Nordstrom and Lenora McCroskey.