Garrett Schmidt (B.M. ‘09) has had a very busy three years since completing his studies at EIU. After graduation, he was awarded a graduate assistantship at the Eastman School of Music, where he completed a masters degree in jazz performance. While in Rochester, New York, he played in the Dave Rivello Ensemble and backed touring artists including Frankie Valli. He also taught trumpet at the Birch Creek Music Academy Summer Camp.
After finishing his degree in Rochester in 2011, he moved to New York City. Last fall, he completed a European tour with Maria Schneider. More recently, he revisited Europe playing in a touring production of Grease. He spent the past summer in Amstetten, Austria, playing in the the orchestra for Little Shop of Horrors.
With all these experiences, he appreciates the foundation he had at Eastern. He says, “For me, EIU was a great place for growth. It was a smaller department so every teacher was dedicated to your education. Fortunately, I was able to take classical and jazz lessons, play in small jazz groups, jazz ensembles, wind symphony, orchestra, and the Latin percussion ensemble. EIU gave me the opportunity to try everything at least once, which I believe is one of the most important things a young musician can do."