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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The longtime Director of the Rochester Civic Music Department is retiring.

Steven Schmidt has announced plans to step down in September after more than 32 years as the head of the department. A news release indicates Schmidt joined the organization in 1989 after managing the T.B. Sheldon Auditorium Theatre in Red Wing.

City Administrator Alison Zelms shares, “I want to thank Steven Schmidt for his commitment to the organization and community over the past 32 years. We celebrate what Civic Music has achieved under his leadership and wish him the best as he takes this step to enjoy retirement. In the coming weeks and months we will work with Steve, his team and others to ensure Rochester residents and visitors continue to have access to offerings as we reinvent once again how to provide programming in the future.”

Photo Credit: Rick Dobrinz

The news release from the city of Rochester notes that under Schmitz leadership, the Civic Music Department developed the popular and free Down by the Riverside summer concert series and assisted in the creation of a number of other music programs, including Riverside Live!, Global Music, Artists in the Schools, and Live from Med City.

Schmidt shares, “It has been one of the great joys of my life to lead the City of Rochester Civic Music Department/Riverside Concerts. The department has embarked on a course of "continuous reinvention” and one of the Department’s greatest strengths is that it continues to advance this commitment to renewal and change. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve audiences and artists alike, to delight constituents with music both familiar and new, and to work with the talented and dedicated ensemble that is Team Civic Music and the Civic Music Board.”

City officials have not released any information about plans for naming his successor.

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