Reid Schmidling began playing piano at age 7 but asked to take violin lessons at age 10. His excitement for this new instrument came after witnessing a music group performing at “Trails West” festival that summer. He studied Suzuki Violin for 5 years with Terry Brock at Missouri Western (Center for Community Arts) and for 2 years with Nicholas Jarrett, graduate of the UMKC Conservatory. He participated in Symphonic Youth Orchestra for 4 years and was in the first violin section at Missouri Western State University for 1 year under Rico McNeela (while still in high school). He also performed with the Jarrett Studio 12-piece Ensemble for 2 years, including a solo part in Vivaldi’s “Concerto for Two Violins.” As a homeschooler, you are not allowed to participate in State Music Competitions so Reid competed in the MMTA Concerto Recital in 2012. For his senior violin recital, he performed “Concerto in A Minor” by Bach from Suzuki Book 7.
To round out his music endeavors, Reid was in Homeschool Choir all 6 years during middle school and high school. He was also a bass singer for 2 years with New Generation Singers.
In addition to a love of music, Reid has a well-rounded personality and stays involved in ice hockey, soccer, golf, chess club, Trivia Bowl team, robotics competitions, Boy Scouts, Mic-o-Say, and youth group. He is an Eagle Scout, Hillyard Ambassador, and works part-time at Fairview Golf Course.
He spent last summer as an exchange student to Austria, where one highlight was touring the Mozart Museum.
Reid auditioned and made the orchestra string section for Benedictine College, but he won a significant leadership scholarship to K-State where he will study Mechanical Engineering this fall.
2. Describe how the nominee’s contribution to the arts in St. Joseph are significant and long lasting:
Above all, Reid has impacted the community through his family band known as “The Fiddlers Three.” His younger twin brothers play the harmony parts, and his sister is the piano accompanist (she has a piano fellowship at Truman State University). Reid has carried the melody parts and first chair role from a young age for all the classical and fiddle shows of this sibling group during the past 5-6 years. They were the opening act for Friday night of PumpkinFest in 2009. Through competitive audition, they were selected for the Family Stage at “Trails West” festival in 2010. They were featured for the opening of the One-room Schoolhouse at TNT (Tuesday Night Talks) in 2012 at the Pony Express Museum and performed for the Sesquicentennial Parade on the Museum grounds.
By performing over 40 shows per year, Reid and his sibling group are enjoyed by civic groups, award dinners, and school programs. Their special feature is to provide educational tidbits about the 1860s songs and explain how the fiddle became the state instrument of Missouri.
Reid gives generously with his music by playing for free at many events, including area nursing homes. The most fun is when each resident gets a shaker to play along with “Irish Washerwoman” and “Red-Haired Boy.” Their faces light up during the sing-along of cowboy favorites, and many listeners come up front afterwards to share their own stories of piano or violin lessons. Reid has played countless hours for many Catholic churches, funerals, and weddings too. It is a delight to see this young man play from his heart and have his music touch the hearts of so many people.