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50 Years of Alumni: Cathy McCall Schmidt

College(s)/University attended:
BBA in Marketing – Iowa State University; MBA – Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

What years were you in GTCYS?
1983-1984 – Symphony, tour in summer of 1984 to the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales). I graduated in 1984 from Mounds View High School.

What skills or lessons did you learn in GTCYS that you still use today?
Set goals that appear almost impossible to achieve and work towards achieving them; Strive for excellence in everything you do; Listen to those around you so that you can be at your best; Surround yourself with people that want to achieve the same things you do and do it together as a team; Appreciation and recognition for people that do achieve at the highest level.

Why do you think GTCYS is important for students now?
All the skills and lessons I learned are why I think GTCYS is important for students now. These are skills and lessons you will take with you for the rest of your life, impacting all that you do and become.

How does music still play a part in your life?
Although I don’t play my oboe any longer, I still play piano and both of my children participated as musicians growing up (daughter Caroline – flute in GTCYS and singing in choir and son Jonny – clarinet in GTCYS and Armstrong High School, and eventually Iowa State University Marching Band). I frequently attend live music performances – orchestra, jazz, blues – and really enjoy weekly music at my church including organ and piano.

What is your favorite composer or piece of music?
Aaron Copland

What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I have been a student, parent, Board member, Board Chair and Advisory Council member for GTCYS!

What do you hope to see from GTCYS in the next 50 years?
Continued growth with a more diverse student and audience population and a continued focus on touring.

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