Name: Kurtis Schmidt
School: Seckman High School
How long have you been performing and what inspired you to start?
I have been performing at recitals for eight years. Originally, hearing classical music, new types of melodies I had never been exposed to, really formed a passion for pursuing and performing classical piano.
How are you preparing for finals? Are you doing anything differently from your usual practices?
The only difference in my practice schedule is my increased focus on the piece I am performing.
What will performing on the Fox stage mean to you?
The opportunity to perform at the Fox Theater is something I would have never dreamed of at 16 years old, and I am really looking forward to performing at the Fox in front of a live audience. I look forward to displaying my piano skills and hopefully experience performing in this type of environment.
Is there someone you look up to and draw influence form for your talent?
I have had three amazing piano teachers from whom I have received great instruction: Mr. Ed Callahan, Mrs. Bitsi Callahan, and Mrs. Donna Trammel. Mr. Callahan has truly taught me my potential and has taken me to a higher level of piano playing. level of piano playing.
What has been the highlight of your performance career?
By far, the Fox Theater competition in 2021 is my most appreciated opportunity. From last year’s competition, I have also been given the opportunity to perform the prelude to a concert with the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis at The Sheldon Concert Hall. Before that, other performances have consisted of piano solos at my church on Sunday mornings and competitions held at various schools.
What do you hope to learn from your experience?
I look forward to performing live at the Fox Theater and gaining different points of view that will help my piano career and familiarize me with the performing atmosphere.