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About Karl Schmidt


I've been playing clarinet forever, well, since the fifth grade,  which was a long time ago.  I simply love the instrument.   As a Chicago high-schooler I was inspired by Benny Goodman, even practicing in the very room at Hull House where Goodman played, and was foruntate to  study with Clark Brody, legendary Principal Clarinet with the Chicago Symphoy Orchestra.  I attended Lawrence University Conservatory of Music (Appleton, Wisconsin), graduating in 1959  with a BA in English and minors in Theatre and Music,and picking up the alto saxophone during college.  Paul Desmond was my idol.   Shortly after graduating a group of us recorded an album of jazz entitled “Windy City Profile” at the RCA Studios in Chicago.


Then came family and a business career and I only played occassionally.  After retiring, I redicovered the joys of making music and now  play three to four times a week. 


Currently I am principal clarinetist with the South Bay Philharmonic Orchestra and Coastside Symphony Orchestra;  play chamber music with several quartets and quintets; regularly attend Ashland Chamber Music Workshop;  and have performed as a soloist at various concerts.   On alto saxohone I regularly play in two jazz/swing Big Bands, including The Lyratones, and the 55-piece Peninsula Symphonic Band.


Inspired by my colleagues at NACUSA (the National Association of Composers--USA), and the Montery Country Composer's Forum, I've been composing and arranging music since 1996.  Most of my pieces are for chamber ensembles and are classical in nature. Many have been performed in Palo Alto, San Jose, and at Hidden Valley Music Institute in Carmel Valley.

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