Schmidt and his impact on the band

McKenna Coyle


Stevens Point Area Senior High (SPASH) band students for the last 31 years have been fortunate enough to have an amazing band teacher in the district. Brad Schmidt has been directing all of the SPASH bands since 1989 and has enjoyed every single year of it.

“I started my band career off in junior high playing clarinet and then saxophone in high school for jazz. Later in high school, I started playing trumpet to demonstrate being louder for the band. When I was in junior high, I could play pretty well on trombone and euphonium and a little bit of flute but then I branched out a bit. I decided that I liked music so much that I just kept going on with it and did it in college, too.”

Schmidt is one of those teachers that it just would not be the same when he decides to retire from teaching high school band. People believe that he really has made an amazing impact at this school. With Schmidt being in the district for 31 years already, some people wonder when he will make the decision to step down from his position as the SPASH band director.

“Well, I don’t know when I want to be done, at least until my kids are out of school. My youngest daughter is in seventh grade right now so that will be at least another five years and I guess we will see after that.”

Every year, under the direction of Schmidt the SPASH jazz band does a Jazz Night Club at the Moose Family Center in Stevens Point. February 20 is this year’s Jazz Night Club and Schmidt always works hard with his jazz students to make sure they are prepared.

“Each year we have a turnout of a couple of hundred people usually and this year we printed off 200 tickets but we always have to make more. I have been working with my jazz students a lot for this event and it is always a crazy time of the year. I have prepared 20 songs for them to play and we will have soloists that have been working extremely hard on their pieces.”

As the years go on, it almost seems like kids are losing interest in being a part of a high school band and that may be true but for the band kids, it is the best part of their day when they get to walk through those band doors and grab their instrument and feel a part of a family, and thanks to Schmidt, it is one of the reasons that it is so hard to leave high school after senior year.