/ Baltimore, MD
Member since May 2018
Darren Schmidt is an award-winning composer and performer from Baltimore, MD. Since graduating from Towson University, Schmidt has continued to add to his diverse collection of pieces (ranging from solo and chamber works up to full choir and symphonic band). His ample firsthand experience as a singer, F Horn player, and ensemble leader allows him to understand music from multiple perspectives: audience, performer, and director. The kind of music he loves most is honest, approachable, and compelling; it has the ability to reach out and meet people where they are. Schmidt endeavors to create engaging, meaningful, and enjoyable music that resonates with people from all walks of life. When he’s not composing, Schmidt enjoys performing with his barbershop quartet Pratt Street Power, and the 229th Army Band.
1. Highly driven by text and melody. Although many decisions vary for each piece depending on my vision, a compelling melody, solid voice leading, and an overall design and flow that honors the text are what I focus on first.
2. I believe in practicality without sacrificing art. I won't write anything your group can't handle, and would happily spend time listening to your ensemble to ensure this.
3. Rooted in traditional tonality but informed by modern ideas and different styles/approaches. Much of my writing draws from a broad range of music; I've been singing in choirs since age 8, and barbershop since college.
All music scores and recordings are available for perusal and purchase at dpscomposer.com
Listen to works by Darren Schmidt
Set Me as a Seal
SATB a cappella
The pain of losing a loved one fades slowly, if ever. But there is comfort in the words, “Love is strong as death.” 2018 Chorus Austin Young Composers Competition Winner. This commission for the Maryland State Boychoir is in memory of fellow chorister, Maxwell Landbeck.
TTBB a cappella
"Good timber does not grow with ease" and neither do boys grow into good men without overcoming adversity. This piece is a call to bear our load with dignity and honor. Uses body percussion.
SATB & Organ
In contrast to the proclamatory Magnificat, the Nunc Dimittis lives in a more contemplative style.
A Proper Monster
SA with divisi & piano accompaniment
For Vincent Sandroni & the Voices of Cockeysville Middle School.
Old Alberto's Daughter
TTBB a cappella
This poem by Edgar Allan Poe begins by comparing the glowingly beautiful "old Alberto's Daughter" to a "fair river" with "crystal wandering water," before revealing how deeply affected the writer becomes when caught in her gaze.