Brian A. Schmidt is Founder and Artistic Director of the South Dakota Chorale. Since their founding in 2009, his leadership has guided them to rapid growth and international recognition, including two commercial albums in collaboration with Grammy-winning producer Blanton Alspaugh.
Schmidt and the South Dakota Chorale recently accepted the prestigious invitation to perform at the 2015 American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, giving performances in the Mormon Tabernacle and Abravanel Hall. He was also selected by ACDA to represent America in the International Conductor Exchange Program with Sweden, resulting in guest conducting and study opportunities in Sweden during the fall of 2015.
Schmidt also serves as a choral conductor at Duke University Chapel in Durham, North Carolina, where he directs the Duke Vespers Ensemble. He leads this highly auditioned chamber choir in a weekly Choral Vespers service and concerts specializing in early music with Cappella Baroque, a professional period-instrument orchestra he founded in 2013. They made their Boston Early Music Festival debut in 2013, performing Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri. MSR Classics released their live recording of this work in the fall of 2014.
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 Schmidt 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. He maintains an active career as conductor, singer, and composer, and his works are published with Colla Voce, Inc., Walton Music, and GIA Music, Inc.