Baylor professor nominated for Grammy

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Brian Schmidt

By Micaela Freeman | Staff Writer

Baylor Associate Professor of Choral Music Dr. Brian A. Schmidt earned himself a Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance for his 2016 album “Tyberg: Masses.”

On Nov. 28, television host and comedian James Corden announced the nominations for the 2018 Grammy Awards, Schmidt being included on the list. Schmidt and his wife attended the Grammys Sunday night in New York.

In addition to being an associate professor, Schmidt is the conductor of Baylor’s Chamber Singers and Baylor’s A Capella Choir. In the past, Schmidt has served as the conductor of Duke Vesper Ensemble, founded South Dakota Chorale and represented America in the International Conductor Exchange Program.

Overall, Schmidt said he was thrilled to be at the 60th Annual Grammys for a piece of music that he feels is empowering.

“It was an incredible celebration of the power of music in our society today,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt has been at Baylor for only six months, and he said he is excited to continue recording and teaching. In his time at the university, Schmidt has recorded an album in honor of Marcel Tyberg, which a professional choir took six days to produce.

“It was emotional and fulfilling,” he said. “I felt a good deal of pressure because this is Tyberg’s only existing choral music, so I wanted it to be perfect.”

Schmidt said he appreciates Baylor’s guidance and help; he has been partnering with the Dean of Music and has had a strong support system from both Baylor and the School of Music.

Schmidt has big goals for the future after his first trip to the Grammy’s. He said he felt honored to experience the red carpet.

“It was very surreal,” Schmidt said “The award ceremony was incredible, and even though I didn’t win, I was humbled to be surrounded by such a high level of talent in so many genres of music.”

Listening to Schmidt’s album is an intimate experience. His nomination was considered a recognition of Marcel Tyberg’s legacy, a compelling story of an Austrian composer, conductor and musician.

“The Grammy recognition has taught me that the value of our work should not be measured by popularity. I never imagined this album would gain recognition because nobody knows Marcel Tyberg,” Schmidt said.

Having returned to Baylor’s campus, Schmidt is ready to continue the rest of the semester teaching music and recording. With the Grammys behind him, he said he anticipates the next challenge in his career.