The American conductor, Brian A. Schmidt, obtained his Bachelor of Music Education Choral Conducting, Music Education from the South Dakota State University (1998-2003); his Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting (2008-2010) and his DMA dergree in Choral Conducting (2010-2012) from the University of North Texas, where he studied under Jerry McCoy and Richard Sparks, along with early music studies under Lyle Nordstrom and Lenora McCroskey.
Brian A. Schmidt was Founder and Artistic Director of the Dakota Men's Ensemble (2002-2006), which also appeared at national, regional, and state ACDA conventions. He also served as Director of Music Ministries at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (June 2005-June 2007); Conducting Associate of the UNT A Cappella Choir at University of North Texas (2008-2012)
Brian A. Schmidt is Founder (2008) and Artistic Director of the South Dakota Chorale, a professional choral organization in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Since their founding in 2009, his leadership has guided them to rapid growth and recognition, as well as the release of several commercial albums in collaboration with Grammy award-winning producer, Blanton Alspaugh, and an international recording contract with Pentatone, a Dutch label specializing in classical recordings.
Since June 2012, Brian A. 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 Fringe Concert debut in 2013, performing Dietrich Buxtehude's Membra Jesu Nostri. MSR Classics released their live recording of this work in the fall of 2014 and their second recording Viva Italia: Sacred Music in 17th Century Rome in 2016.
The South Dakota Chorale's first commercial album, "In Paradisum: The Healing Power of Heaven", features Maurice Duruflé'S Requiem in the organ-only version, which Gramophone magazine hailed as “a luminous account of the Duruflé.” Published in May of 2012 by Gothic Records and distributed internationally by Naxos Records, the album was also cited in the body of work that aided producer Blanton Alspaugh in winning the 2013 GRAMMY award for “Best Classical Producer.” Their second major album, Sacred Songs of Life and Love, is again on the GRAMMY ballot with Alspaugh's nomination for 2016 Best Classical Producer.
Brian A. Schmidt and the South Dakota Chorale 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.
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. He currently lives in Durham, North Carolina.