Community Music Project/Jamestown Choral Society Selects New Director

(L to R): Janita Byars-CMP president, Joe Braeger CMP General Manager, Andrew Schmidt, Rebecca Ryan-Director of Chautauqua Chamber Singers.

Article Contributed by
Community Music Project

“In the fall of 1909, a centennial celebration on of the 100 anniversary of Jamestown was proposed. A Centennial Chorus of several hundred voices was organized, with Dr. Julius Lincoln, president, and Samuel J. Thorstenburg, as director. The proposed celebration was afterwards abandoned on account of a great conflagration: but in 1910 the chorus was reorganized under the name, Jamestown Choral Society, with the same president and director, for the purpose of studying oratorios and other vocal works.”

~History of Chautauqua County, NY~

Community Music Project has select local musician Andrew Schmidt to direct the Jamestown Choral Society. JCS was disbanded after it’s inception in 1911 but was reestablished by it’s long time director Dr. Lee Spear in 1983 and will be celebrating it’s 35th year of continuous music.

Andrew Schmidt began studying piano at age 9 with Helga Hulse of Jamestown. Following his graduation from Chautauqua Central School in 1982, he continued his pianistic education with Ozan Marsh at Chautauqua Institution, with Phyllis East at SUNY-Fredonia, and with James Avery at the Eastman School of Music, where he completed his Bachelor’s degree in piano performance. Since then he has operated a thriving private piano studio in Jamestown. He students have received numerous awards and scholarships over the years, and several have gone on to successful careers in music. Schmidt also has served as Director of Music at First Congregational Church (1993-2010) and at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (2010- present). In 2005 he passed the examination to become a certified Colleague in the American Guild of Organists. He also is active as an adjudicator in the National Guild of Piano Teachers. He has adjudicated students throughout the United States, and also in Taiwan. This Summer he makes his first Guild judging trip to mainland China. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Mary and their adorable fluffy cat Chloe.

If you are interested in becoming a member of JCS, rehearsals begin Sept. 11 at First Presbyterian Church from 7-9 pm. Visit or call 664-2227 for more information.