Location: North Carolina, USA
Brian A. Schmidt is Assistant Conductor and Administrative Coordinator of Chapel Music at Duke University in Durham, NC, where he serves as conductor of the Duke Vespers Ensemble and Duke Divinity School Choir. He is also the Artistic Director of the South Dakota Chorale, a professional chorus organization in Sioux Falls, SD.
With the Duke Vespers Ensemble, Schmidt leads a weekly Choral Vespers service amidst the marvelous acoustics of Duke University Chapel. The Duke Vespers Ensemble is an auditioned choir consisting of 20 volunteer singers that strive to work on a level comparable with many of the professional church ensembles in America. Outside of their service work, this ensemble presents primarily early music concerts ranging from Baroque masterworks with period instruments to various Renaissance Mass and Requiem settings.
As founder and Artistic Director of the South Dakota Chorale, he manages a roster of professional singers from around the United States that gather and perform in Sioux Falls, SD. Since its founding in 2009, his leadership has guided the South Dakota Chorale to rapid growth, including the production of their first commercial album, In Paradisum: The Healing Power of Heaven. Released in May of 2012 by Gothic Records and distributed internationally by Naxos Records, the album was cited in the body of work that aided producer Blanton Alspaugh in winning the 2013 GRAMMY award for “Best Classical Producer.”
Schmidt graduated from the University of North Texas, where he completed the DMA and MM degrees under the direction of Jerry McCoy and Richard Sparks, along with early music studies with Lyle Nordstrom and Lenora McCroskey. Prior to that, he completed a B.M.E. in Choral Conducting from South Dakota State University.
He was previously the Director of Music for Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, a 2,500 member Lutheran congregation in Sioux Falls, SD, as well as the founder and Artistic Director of the Dakota Men's Ensemble, which appeared on National, Regional, and State ACDA Conventions. He maintains an active career as conductor and composer, where his works are published with Colla Voce, Inc., Walton Music, and GIA Music, Inc.