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about

Regarded for his creative programming, symphonic use of the organ, and virtuosic pedal technique, Nicholas Schmelter graduated in 2006 with a Master of Music degree in organ performance from Central Michigan U. He was awarded honors at CMU including a Graduate Fellowship, the Centralis Scholar Award, the School of Music Performance Scholarship, and the Presser Foundation Award. Nicholas is a frequent recitalist, offering performances throughout Michigan as well as in Washington, D.C., Milwaukee, London and Toronto, Canada, and other regions. A composer himself, Nicholas has commissioned and premiered new music by Moonyeen Albrecht, Robert Powell, Philip Rice, Bernard Wayne Sanders, and others. A church musician since the age of sixteen, he offers private instruction and coaching, is a sought-after choral accompanist, and enjoys several musical partnerships, including collaborations with pianist Tyler Kivel and flutist Townes Osborn Miller. He is Director of Worship and Congregational Life at First Presbyterian Church of Caro, Michigan, where he utilizes the unaltered Aeolian-Skinner organ in a warmly received series of community concerts. He has served as Artist in Residence at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bay City, Michigan, since 2007, and was recently appointed Artist in Residence at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Flint, for the 2018-2019 season. Click here to open Nicholas' CV in a new window. And, this link will take you to a representative list of choral output from 2011-2015, when Schmelter served as Minister of Music at First Congregational church of Saginaw.

 
 
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Music - All Flash No Trash

by Tyler Kivel and Nicholas Schmelter (excerpts, live in recital)

Events

NOONDAY RECITAL - April 26, 2019 (12:00 p.m.)
First Presbyterian Church, Caro, Michigan

NOONDAY RECITAL - May 3, 2019 (12:00 p.m.)
First Presbyterian Church, Caro, Michigan

ORGANIST - CHORAL EVENSONG - May 5, 2019 (4:00 p.m.)
Trinity Episcopal Church, Bay City, Michigan

PIANO/ORGAN DUO RECITAL - Tyler Kivel (piano) and Nicholas Schmelter (organ) - May 19, 2019 (4:00 p.m.)
First Presbyterian Church, Caro, Michigan

ORGANIST - CHORAL EVENSONG - May 30, 2019 (6:00 p.m.)
Trinity Episcopal Church, Bay City, Michigan

PIANO/ORGAN DUO RECITAL - Tyler Kivel (piano) and Nicholas Schmelter (organ) - June 2, 2019 (5:30 p.m.)
Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

PIANO/ORGAN DUO RECITAL - Tyler Kivel (piano) and Nicholas Schmelter (organ) - June 19, 2019 (12:30 p.m.)
Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, Toronto, Ontario

RECITAL - July 9, 2019 (7:30 p.m.)
Church of the Gesu, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

PIANO/ORGAN DUO RECITAL - Tyler Kivel (piano) and Nicholas Schmelter (organ) - July 12, 2019 (TBA)
Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

RECITAL - August 25, 2019 (3:00 p.m.)
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish (St. Roch Catholic Church), Caseville, Michigan

RECITAL - September 4, 2019 (1:00 p.m.)
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Flint, Michigan

RECITAL - September 13, 2019 (7:00 p.m.)
Christ Lutheran Church, Kokomo, Indiana

RECITAL - September 22, 2019 (4:00 p.m.)
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Flint, Michigan

RECITAL - September 29, 2019 (TBA)
First Congregational Church UCC, Saginaw, Michigan

RECITAL - October 2, 2019 (1:00 p.m.)
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Flint, Michigan

PIANO/ORGAN DUO RECITAL - Tyler Kivel (piano) and Nicholas Schmelter (organ) - October 6, 2019 (TBA)
St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, Frankenmuth, Michigan

RECITAL - October 20, 2019 (4:00 p.m.)
Christ the Good Shepherd Catholic Church (St. Helen Campus), Saginaw, Michigan

PIANO/ORGAN DUO RECITAL - Tyler Kivel (piano) and Nicholas Schmelter (organ) - October 27, 2019 (4:00 p.m.)
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Flint, Michigan

PIANO/ORGAN DUO RECITAL - Tyler Kivel (piano) and Nicholas Schmelter (organ) - October 31, 2019 (12:00 p.m.)
First Congregational Church UCC, Oshkosh, Wisconsin

PIANO/ORGAN DUO RECITAL - Tyler Kivel (piano) and Nicholas Schmelter (organ) - November 3, 2019 (3:00 p.m.)
Brookfield Congregational UCC, Brookfield, Wisconsin

RECITAL - November 6, 2019 (1:00 p.m.)
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Flint, Michigan

RECITAL - December 4, 2019 (1:00 p.m.)
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Flint, Michigan

PIANO/ORGAN DUO RECITAL - Tyler Kivel (piano) and Nicholas Schmelter (organ) - May 15, 2020 (7:30 p.m.)
Cherry Hill Presbyterian Church, Dearborn, Michigan

RECITAL - July 19, 2020 (6:00 p.m.)
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.

 

news

APR. 23, 2017

Nicholas Schmelter performed a solo recital at The First Church, Nashua, New Hampshire, as part of the First Music Concert Series, on April 23. Commenting on his use of the restored and expanded Anderson Memorial Organ, built by the Austin Organ Company, Joseph R. Olefirowicz, Minister of Music, said the following: "[...] as a recitalist: the best use and programming of a symphonic organ I have ever heard.  His Bach was a tour-de-force orchestral treatment of the genre, as if Bach wrote in this period.  The audience leapt to its feet at the end of the program."

JAN. 8, 2018

Nicholas Schmelter, director of worship and congregational life, First Presbyterian Church, Caro, Michigan, performed the premiere of Philip Rice’s In Dulci Jubilo, written for organ, on the church’s Aeolian-Skinner instrument, at a noonday recital on Jan. 5, 2018. Rice (b. 1988) is a Michigan-based composer specializing in sacred music and artsong. He holds a DMA from Michigan State University and an MM with distinction from Westminster Choir College in Princeton. In 2015 he was a winner in the American Prize for orchestral composition and an ASCAP Morton Gould Award finalist. He currently serves as the Program Director for the Mackinac Arts Council.

JAN. 17, 2018

Nicholas Schmelter, director of worship and congregational life, First Presbyterian Church, Caro, Michigan, is pleased to announce the commission of a new multi-movement composition for flute and organ based on three psalms texts by Dr. Moonyeen Albrecht (b. 1936).  Albrecht earned MM and DM degrees in theory and composition from Northwestern U. She taught among the music faculty at Central Michigan U. for thirty-eight years, maintaining additional responsibilities as a church organist.  Further biographical information about Albrecht is found in the academic dissertation of Laura Kellogg, U. of Oklahoma, 2016.  Albrecht’s earlier composition, Four Psalms for Flute and Organ, received prominence among contemporary output in the 80s, when Frances Shelley and Steven Egler commissioned the piece for the 1986 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists held in Detroit. The commissioned composition, written for Schmelter and duo collaborator, flutist Townes Osborn Miller, will receive its initial performances as part of the Friends of Music Series at the First Presbyterian Church (Caro, Mi.) and the Music in the Heart of the City Series at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church (Flint, Mi.), where Schmelter was recently named Artist in Residence for 2018-2019. In addition to Albrecht’s composition, Schmelter has commissioned and premiered new music by Robert Powell, Philip Rice, Bernard Wayne Sanders, and others.

FEB. 16, 2018

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Flint, Mi., Rev. Dan Sheid, rector, and Holly Richardson, director of music, announces the 2018-2019 artist-in-residence appointment of Nicholas Schmelter, performing three concerts as part of the new St. Paul’s Music in the Heart of the City series and supervising the commission of pieces by Moonyeen Albrecht and Edward Moroney written to highlight the four-manual, eighty-nine-rank Florence Whiting Dalton Memorial Pipe Organ. In addition to its cultural role in Genesee County, the parish community of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in the heart of the City of Flint believes that its work in justice and mercy is central to its mission accomplished by providing for neighbors in need and working to transform the unjust structures of society through advocacy and education. 

MAR. 3, 2018

Tyler Kivel and Nicholas Schmelter commenced a Midwest tour of piano-organ duo recitals with a noonday performance on February 28 at First Presbyterian Church, Bay City (Michigan).  The ensemble has realized creative new orchestrations of selections by Anderson, Debussy, Grainger, Lutoslawski, Poulenc, Saint-Saëns, and Shostokovich. Upcoming venues include Alpena (Michigan), Flint (Michigan), Milwuakee (Wisconsin), London (Ontario), and other cities.  Among its goals, the duo aims to bring music to diverse demographics and rural communities, and to offer educational opportunities to collaborative artists and keyboard musicians. Chicago-based pianist Tyler Kivel is an active soloist, freelance performer, teacher, and chamber musician, including his faculty role at ChiArts and recent musical direction of Thrones! The Musical Parody. Kivel has earned several competition-based awards and will make his Carnegie Hall debut in April 2018. For information: schmelternick@hotmail.com or kiveltyler@gmail.com.

JUN. 27, 2018

Nicholas Schmelter, director of worship and congregational life of the First Presbyterian Church of Caro, MI, hosted a Pedals, Pipes and Pizza event at the church for twenty-two participants on June 27 as part of the Caro Area District Library's summer reading program Libraries Rock! Event staff included Randi Dalton (Library Assistant), Susan Reim (Organist, First Presbyterian Church), Erin Schmandt (Library Director), and Nicholas Schmelter.

OCT. 20, 2018

Nicholas Schmelter, director of worship and congregational life at First Presbyterian Church of Caro (Michigan) and artist in residence at Trinity Episcopal Church (Bay City, Michigan) and Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church (Flint, Michigan), completed an Upper Midwest organ concert tour of six performances in eight days on Thursday, October 18, 2018. He performed at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist (Milwaukee, Wisconsin), First Congregational Church (Oshkosh, Wisconsin), Sacred Heart Music Center (Duluth, Minnesota), the Basilica of Saint Mary (Minneapolis, Minnesota), the Church of St. Louis, King of France (St. Paul, Minnesota), and St. Clement’s Episcopal Church (St. Paul, Minnesota) beginning on October 10.  Not duplicating a single program, he performed pieces by Bach, Buck, Dupré, Dvořák Hebble, Krebs, Lemaigre, de Maleingreau, Mushel, Sowerby, Vierne, and Wright.

OCT. 21, 2018

Technician Jonathan Orwig has mastered a live recording from the October 15 recital at the Basilica of Saint Mary (Minneapolis, Minnesota) for archival purposes.

DEC. 30, 2018

Nicholas Schmelter, director of worship and congregational life, First Presbyterian Church, Caro, Michigan, performed the premiere of Anna’s Carol, by Philip Rice, with mezzo Kathryn Wills Cole, a professional singer with degrees from Central Michigan University and Northwestern, now residing in Chicago, on December 30.  Rice, program director at the Mackinac Arts Council, is a prizewinning Michigan-based composer specializing in sacred music and song.

JAN. 12, 2019

Nicholas Schmelter, director of worship and congregational life, First Presbyterian Church, Caro, Michigan, performed the premiere of Psalms for Flute and Organ (Set 2), by Moonyeen Albrecht, with flutist Townes Osborn Miller, on January 11. Composer Moonyeen Albrecht earned Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees in theory and composition from Northwestern University. She taught among the music faculty at Central Michigan University for thirty-eight years, maintaining additional responsibilities as a church organist. Further biographical information about Albrecht is found in the academic dissertation of Laura Kellogg, U. of Oklahoma, 2016. Psalms for Flute and Organ (Set 2), written for Schmelter and Miller, is new multi-movement composition for flute and organ.

APR. 1, 2019

Nicholas Schmelter performed the premieres of Introduction and Toccata, Op. 1323, by Carson Cooman, and Mon Cher Ami (Danse-Intermezzo), by Edward Moroney, on March 31 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Flint, Michigan, where Schmelter serves as Artist in Residence.

REsponse

"Nicholas has become a valued member of the team of recitalists who play here at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, Ontario, every Tuesday, and we much look forward to his inventive programming and wonderful playing. Our audiences are delighted when they see his name on the schedule, knowing that they’re bound to enjoy his offerings." [Andrew Keegan Mackriell, Director of Music & Cathedral Organist, St. Paul's Cathedral, London, Ontario]

"Nicholas Schmelter has been a much-appreciated performer in our Noonday Recital series here at Yorkminster Park since 2003.  His recitals are always notable for splendid programming (including an all-Willan programme, played in the presence of Healey Willan's daughter, Mary Willan Mason), superb playing and masterful use of the 101-rank Casavant in our sanctuary.  He has been the final recitalist on our series before the summer break for so many years now that our patrons eagerly await his return every year, and always comment on how thoroughly satisfying his performances are.  We look forward to welcoming him here for many years to come!" [William Maddox, Organist and Director of Music, Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, Toronto, Ontario]

"[...] as a recitalist: the best use and programming of a symphonic organ I have ever heard.  His Bach was a tour-de-force orchestral treatment of the genre, as if Bach wrote in this period.  The audience leapt to its feet at the end of the program." [Joseph R. Olefirowicz, Minister of Music, The First Church, Nashua, NH]

"Nicholas has served as our Artist in Residence since 2007.  In that capacity he has been a major influence on our chamber choir and Evensong series.  His passion for accompanying is a blessing to us at Trinity Episcopal Church.  He is a genius and makes any choir sound terrific.  His faithful support has been a powerful witness to the organ and choral community in our area." [Robert Sabourin, Organist-Choirmaster, Trinity Episcopal Church, Bay City, MI]

"Nicholas embraced both The Basilica's instrument and acoustic with an electrifying enthusiasm. He immediately proved himself a 'musician's musician' and a sincere communicator of sound. The entire audience was engaged with the articulate delivery of program commentary via Nicholas' sharp wit, well-timed humor, and perfect economy of duration. The concert was impeccably programmed and showcased a great breadth of color and texture--even the rarest alluring color and percussion effects. Nicholas' symphonic use of the organ and technical mastery were keenly witnessed in his offering of the Piece d'Orgue and Searle Wright's Introduction, Passacaglia, and Fugue (a work that, until this concert, has no record of having been offered in The Basilica). The Leo Sowerby Carillon was so perfectly suited and musically conveyed. As a whole, the October 15 concert is a musical experience I will continue to fondly cherish. We look forward to the next opportunity to feature Nicholas' vital and engaging musicianship to Twin Cities audiences at The Basilica!" [Christopher Stroh, Basilica Organist & Liturgical Music Associate, The Basilica of Saint Mary, Minneapolis, Minnesota]

"Many thanks for presenting a top notch performance here at St. Mary. Your program was very well chosen and played to the hilt. Most important of all is that you made some more friends for the organ and the piano." [Wayne Wyrembelski, Director of Music, St. Mary Cathedral, Gaylord, MI]