Handbells/Youth Music Director:
Before coming to First Presbyterian, Ridgewood, mezzo-soprano Carol Andrews Schmiedecke served as alto soloist at Emmanuel Baptist Church for 14 years and has also served as church soloist and choir section leader at First Presbyterian Church in Miami, Florida, Hollywood Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, Florida and for many other denominations in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Nevada. She has lead workshops and masterclasses in Solo Singing for the Church at the Fellowship of American Baptist Musicians conference in Greenlake, Wisconsin, and is an avid handbell enthusiast, having studied handbell conducting and ringing technique with Kathleen Ebling-Shaw at Westminster Choir College.
A professional performer since the age of 16, she has studied and worked with some of the most distinguished names in opera and on Broadway. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and appeared there professionally in the national companies of Mame, Sweet Charity and Fiddler On the Roof. Mrs. Schmiedecke also holds a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Miami where she was also a leading singer with the Greater Miami Opera company. Other classical appearances include concerts with the Miami Philharmonic, the AIMS Orchestra in Graz, Austria, Miami Beach Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, and leading roles with Opera Delaware, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Northeast, DiCapo Opera Theater, the New York City Opera, and the Manhattan Philharmonic, with whom she made her Carnegie Hall debut during that venue’s 100th anniversary. As a professional stage director, she has directed and supervised productions across the northeast and for DiCapo Opera, the Ridgewood Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company and Opera at Florham, among others.
Mrs. Schmiedecke recently retired as Music Specialist for Allendale public schools where her special programs, concerts and innovative teaching style earned the district national honors as one of the “100 Best Districts for Music Education in the United States” as recognized by the NAMM Foundation, and a nomination for Disney Teacher of the Year in Music. Carol was formerly Professor of Voice at Barry University in Miami and now maintains a private vocal studio in Allendale where she is deeply committed to providing a positive performing experience to each of her students in a positive, encouraging and secure atmosphere.