Sangre de Cristo Chorale Selects New Music Director

Andrew Schmidt. Courtesy photo

MUSIC News:

The Sangre de Cristo Chorale announces the selection of Andrew Schmidt as its new Music Director.

The Chorale, soon to begin in its 38th season, has been continually offering concerts to Santa Fe and Los Alamos audiences since 1978. Schmidt is only the fourth individual to lead the group in those 36 years, including 25 years under the baton of original director Sheldon Kalberg.

Schmidt was selected following a rigorous search process. Candidates were evaluated based on their ability to attract diverse singers and audiences while enhancing choral skills and presenting quality performances.  Well-known Santa Fe musician Cora Harms, served as guest conductors for the 2014-15 season.

Schmidt is the director of choral activities, at the New Mexico School for the Arts. He sings bass professionally in the greater Santa Fe area and provides private voice and music instruction at NMSA and the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

He lives in Santa Fe with his husband, Cory, and dog, Atticus.

 “I look forward to sharing my passion for connecting singers and audiences through mindfully crafted choral concerts,” Schmidt said. “When we sing together, our hearts and minds become one, and the audience should be included in those joyful moments.”

Schmidt holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Choral Music Education from Northwestern University and a Master’s in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington.  He was a Fulbright Fellow to Estonia researching choral music and music education.

He previously served as the director of choirs at the Princeton Day School in Princeton, N.J. Additionally, he conducted the Sarteano Chamber Choir Festival, National Conductor’s Symposium, and Montreal Choral Master class.

The Sangre de Cristo Chorale is made up of committed volunteer singers who support each other in the joy of shared musical excellence. The Chorale performs a wide variety of quality choral music, striving to touch the hearts of listeners, educate and inspire young people, and connect with the community.

The Chorale provides scholarships annually to promising high school seniors who intend to study music in college. In addition, the group invites up to four high school students each year to sing as apprentices, providing them with mentorship as well as welcoming them into the musical performance experience.

Finally, the Chorale conducts outreach each year with a high school choir in an underserved area, sharing its love of singing through joint rehearsals and concerts.

In all aspects, the group seeks to live out its motto “Creating Community through Song.”

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