Our music director, Dan Schmier was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. His parents were members of Holy Rosary Catholic Church-Flint. Dan was baptized, confirmed, made his reconciliation and received his first holy communion at Holy Rosary. When Dan was in high school, he was asked to help form a youth choir. With several of his high school friends, "The New Hope Choir" was formed and lead music at Saturday evening mass.
Dan majored in Choral Music Education at The University of Michigan-Flint. Under the direction of Professor Carolyn Mawby, Dan excelled in his studies of Choral Music. During his senior year, Fr. Sylvester Fedewa contacted the University and asked for recommendations of Catholic students who showed promise in conducting choirs. Dan's contact information was given to Fr. Fedewa, an interview was conducted and Dan worked for 14 years at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church-Burton.
During his tenure at Holy Redeemer, the adult choir grew to 109. Handbells were donated by the Council of Catholic Women and 6 handbell choirs were quickly formed. A team of 14 cantors and 2 staff organists rounded off the music ministry team.
Dan was asked to help form a chapter of NPM (National Association of Pastoral Musicians) in the Lansing diocese. After helping forming that division, Dan offered suggestions to the National Office on how to better organize it's chapters. For his contributions to NPM, Dan was presented a special award for, "Outstanding Organizational Skills".
Dan was asked to represent the Lansing Diocese at the Vatican's First International Conference of Liturgy for English, French and Spanish speaking countries. The conference was held in Rome, Italy.
Along, with several music directors in mid-Michigan, Dan helped prepare a musical pilgrimage to Italy. 129 people participated in that travel event. While Dan holds many wonderful memories from that pilgrimage, it was the first time Dan got to shake hands with Saint John Paul II and sing Happy Birthday to him in Polish.
Dan has attended many classes and seminars on choral music and worship. He is a graduate of both the intermediate and advanced NPM Cantor programs. He has personally cantored at over 5000 weddings and 3000 funerals.
Dan has also worked at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church-Frankenmuth, St. Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church-Swartz Creek. Dan worked for 22 years in the travel industry. He has been on over 50 cruises, has traveled over 12 times to Italy, several time to Hawaii, the Philippines, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Ireland. Mexico and most of the Caribbean Islands.
We are very blessed to have Dan Schmier as our music director. He brings to every rehearsal...energy, motivation and a drive to excellence. He insists we come to a full understanding of what we are singing about and for whom we sing. He calls us to excellence and does not allow us to settle for less.
If you ever have the opportunity to attend a choir rehearsal with Dan....do it. It is an eye-opening and rewarding experience.