Steven Schmidt (b. 1964) was raised in Riverside, California. He began studying percussion at California State University, Fullerton under the tutelage of Todd Miller. After receiving a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from CSU, Fullerton, Steven went on to earn a Master of Music in Percussion Performance from the University of Southern California, studying percussion with Erik Forrester and composition with Frederick Lesemann.
Steven has received commissions for compositions from Riverside Community College, the University of California, Riverside Department of Theater, the California State University, Fullerton Clarinet Ensemble, the Irvine Valley College Wind Ensemble, Upland High School and the University of Southern California Theater Department, for whom he composed music for their 1994 production of Bertold Brecht's Caucasian Chalk Circle. His wind ensemble composition Spin has been performed by RCC, the California Music Academy, the University of Northern Arizona, Washington State University and numerous high schools. Steven’s percussion ensemble compositions Refractions III and Octet have been performed by RCC, USC, UCLA, CSUF, CSULB, University of Redlands, ISOMATA and Ithaca College (among others.) His latest works Southern California Portrait and Shape Shifter for wind ensemble and Helios for jazz ensemble were recently premiered and recorded by the Riverside City College Performing Arts Department and are available from Sea Breeze Records. In 2010, Shape Shifter received premieres in Los Angeles’ Disney Concert Hall and New York’s Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Schmidt's performance credits include a recording of Edgar Varese' Ionisation with the Ensemble Modern (a recording produced by Frank Zappa) and the soundtrack to Mr. Holland's Opus starring Richard Dreyfuss. Steven has also performed with the Riverside Philharmonic, the Orange County Pacific Symphony, the Capistrano Valley Symphony, the Southwest Chamber Symphony, Downey Civic Light Opera, Costa Mesa CLO and South Bay CLO. Additionally, Steven has participated in many independently contracted performances with artists such as Peabo Bryson, Ray Charles, Shirley Jones, Bernadette Peters, Don Rickles, Peter Setera, Doc Severinson, Dionne Warwick, and, most recently, Jackie Evancho.
In addition to his composition and performance activities, Steven has written over 100 marching band arrangements (clients have included Riverside Community College, Ayala High School, Centennial High School, Corona High School, Cypress High School, El Dorado High School, Etiwanda High School, La Sierra High School, Magnolia High School, Redlands High School, Rubidoux High School, Valley View High School, West Covina High School, West [Torrance] High School and Whittier High School.)
Steven has taught at Cal State University Fullerton, University of Southern California Riverside, Irvine Valley College, College of the Desert, Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts (ISOMATA) and Cypress High School and currently teaches full time at Riverside City College.
When he is not teaching or composing, Steven enjoys spending time with his wife, oboist Rong-Huey Liu, and their two children, Autumn and Aurora. (v. 12/06/12)