Nice to meet you! – Jessica Schmidt

Hello there, and thank you for stopping by the PSO blog.  Before I
begin to "blog away", I wanted to introduce myself.  My name is Jessica
Schmidt, and I am the PSO’s new Director of Education and Community
Engagement.  I am a new Pittsburgh resident, having moved here in
August of 2005, and I am absolutely honored to be here at the PSO
working with such a gifted and lovely group of musicians and staff
co-workers…

Before coming to Pittsburgh, I was the Education Coordinator at the
Dallas Symphony Orchestra (yes- the same place where fellow blogger and
new PSO Assistant Conductor Larry Loh was working…his son Charlie and
I go waaaaay back…).  It was in Dallas that I completed my masters
degree in Arts Administration and an MBA at Southern Methodist
University.  Before that, I was doing my undergrad work at Indiana
University in Bloomington, Indiana.  At IU, I was a horn student and
studied with both Myron Bloom and Mike Hatfield- two amazing people to
whom I will be forever grateful.  And I would be remiss if I didn’t
mention that my earliest roots go back to my hometown of Minot, North
Dakota.  I was born and raised in Minot- and my neighbors put up with
an awful lot of Mozart horn concertos echoing down the street as I
learned how to play…so my love and loyalty to Minot will always be
present, no matter where I end up.

Now that you know more about me than you ever wanted to know, I hope
that I might be able to return the favor of your presence at this blog
by sharing my impressions of the "behind the scenes" activity of the
PSO and the orchestra’s performances from the perspective of a new PSO
staff member, a new Pittsburgh resident, and specifically- as a member
of the PSO’s Education and Community Engagement staff.  As I mentioned
earlier, I am honored to be here and have been consistently impressed
with the commitment that this orchestra has not only to making the
greatest music possible, but to sharing that gift with the community
around them- far and wide, young and old- in so many unique and
educational ways.

I look forward to posting, and I’ll always be happy to answer your
questions about the PSO to the best of my ability.  In the meantime,
I’ll continue to assemble my blog thoughts as I happily play back last
weekend’s Rite of Spring in my head. (It took the paint off of the
Heinz Hall walls, what a concert!  I have to give a big, fat pat on the
back to fellow blogger and horn player Bob Lauver for producing a good
deal of the sound that was responsible for that "paint chipping"- WOW!)

Take care…

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Sep 22