For the second time in two years, classical new age composer and pianist Jon Schmidt performed at Bingham High School. Not only is he gifted as a musician, but his talents as an entertainer were evident throughout the show. From playing an entire song while upside down, putting on a funky wig, playing with his toes and beat boxing, Schmidt captured the attention of audience members young and old. Schmidt is a Utah native, but he showed no signs of giving a mediocre performance for a crowd filled with high school students.
Having performed in piano recitals since the age of 8, Schmidt has had countless years of performing experience. He began to compose his music before the age of thirteen and practiced for over a decade after. He has been the trainee and also the trainer when he taught piano lessons at age 16.
A few years later in 1991, Schmidt decided to make music his career and released his first album. Because of his extensive musical background and ability to connect with the audience, Schmidt is a prime example of someone who aspiring pianists should follow.
Words of advice Schmidt gave during his performance were, “Be ready to put in one hundred hours if the ‘song’ requires.” Schmidt was an example to a former high school student, Andrea Lord. She shared how she liked that he “communicated to the audience by sharing personal stories and being himself.”
His ability to appeal to the audience was further illustrated when he played “Dumb Song”. This well-known song was a request exuberantly shouted out by audience members. Before beginning, Schmidt told the audience he needed “head protection” and promptly pulled out a long red-haired wig and put it on. Throughout the performance he emphatically shook his head to the rhythm of the song. It wouldn’t be a surprise if long red-haired wigs became a new fashion statement at Bingham High School!
Schmidt’s performance was not a forgettable occasion to those who went to hear him play. His attitude and excitement will continue to have an impact on students and audience members alike. Those who have heard this talented musician perform will have more to take with them long into their adult lives. It is apparent, that the spotlight has not left Jon Schmidt, even though the performance has ended.