Adams State has all the right elements for Schmidt

(03-24-2010)

Top notch programs, close to home, and "affordable," all "added up" to make Adams State College the choice for Kacia Schmidt, music education sophomore. A Pueblo, Colo., high school graduate, Schmidt is quite satisfied with her final decision.

"I knew I wanted to be a music teacher since high school," she said. "The Adams State music faculty has definitely helped me grow as a musician." She is taking 17 credit hours, and is active in the Chamber and Concert Choirs and 68 West, the college's vocal jazz ensemble. Besides the scheduled concerts on campus, an estimated six per academic year, Schmidt is looking forward to touring around the San Luis Valley performing with the Chamber Choir and 68 West.

Beth Wagstrom, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, said, Schmidt is a very talented, smart and dedicated musician. "She is an active member in all of our choral ensembles and contributes greatly to their success." The admiration is mutual. Schmidt "loves" Wagstrom. "She is an amazing director who relates to students and is awesome to work with. She emphasizes feedback from students."

Schmidt practices 20 to 30 hours a week including class time. She recently performed in the concert, "Love -- Opera Style", directed by Dr. Christine Keitges, professor of music. "Dr. Keitges is always available and willing to help. If a technique doesn't work, she has three or four more she can pull out of her sleeve."

Keitges says, "Kacia has a beautiful voice, is an excellent musician and is a pleasure to teach. She enjoys working on more challenging music and appears to enjoy that challenge."

Schmidt said the atmosphere in the Music Department is supportive with "healthy competition" between students. "Most of the students share a close bond. We talk between classes and mingle with one another even if we aren't in the same discipline. We motivate each other to be the best we can be."

Her goal is to teach elementary students and currently "shadows" a fellow vocal student with part-time position at Trinity Lutheran School. "Music is a fundamental expressive outlet. It can be beneficial to students who experience trouble learning in other areas. I look forward to teaching music, I've always loved it."

To continue to attract quality students, such as Schmidt, the Adams State College Music Department is hosting "A Noteworthy Evening" on April 9 in the Luther Bean Museum to raise money for a music scholarship endowment. "It is awesome the music professors are organizing a fund-raiser for scholarships," Schmidt said. "Students definitely need support financially."

Tickets are now on sale for "A Noteworthy Evening". Call the Music Department at 719-587-7621 for tickets, $30 in advance and $40 at the door.

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By Linda Relyea