Brian A. Schmidt, Conductor

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 was recently appointed Associate Professor of Choral Music at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where he will direct the Baylor A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers, as well as teach choral literature and conducting for undergraduate and graduate music majors. Previously, he directed the Duke Vespers Ensemble at Duke University Chapel in Durham, North Carolina.  At Duke Chapel, he led the Vespers Ensemble in weekly Choral Vespers services, as well as concerts of early choral literature and masterworks. He also founded and conducted the Duke Bach Cantata Series in 2016, and founded Duke Cappella Baroque, a professional period-instrument orchestra, in 2013. Most recently, he led the Vespers Ensemble on a tour of Norway and Sweden, performing at renowned venues like Oskar Fredriks Church, Uppsala Cathedral, and St Jacobs Church, and collaborating in concert with Ars Veritas (Gothenburg) and St Jacobs Kammarkör (Stockholm). Other performances leading the Vespers Ensemble include the 2016 Southern Division Convention of the American Choral Director’s Association (ACDA) and Boston Early Music Festival in 2015 and 2013. Schmidt and the Duke Vespers Ensemble have two albums, Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri and Viva Italia, a collection of sacred music centered around the 17th-century Collegio Germanico in Rome, both released 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 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.