Musician, World Traveler, Broadway Coach

  • Alumni
Yonika Willis

It’s not every day that one gets to meet American Composer Lin Manuel Miranda (who wrote the music for Broadway’s “Hamilton” and Disney’s “Moana”), and get complementary tickets to Broadway shows, but for Bethel alumnus Jared Schwartz ’04, this is normal. Schwartz is a bass soloist for opera, oratorio and concerts, as well as a pianist, composer and music director in both classical and popular music. He has built up his résumé by recording chart-topping albums and teaching vocal lessons to students who have gone on to perform on Broadway. Schwartz is currently working on album number five, with plans of recording albums six through 10.

“A typical day in my life is filled with rehearsing my own singing for a couple of hours and then teaching for six or seven hours."

This disciplined work ethic has been with Schwartz from an early age.

“As a 7-year-old child I announced that I needed to learn the violin, because Mozart played violin at that age, too, and I needed to keep up,” he says. “So my parents found me a violin teacher, and off I went. I had a different private music lesson nearly every day of the week between piano, violin, French horn and other lessons.”

Schwartz enrolled at Bethel during the spring of 2001, and the college continues to play a key role in his career.

“Bethel has always been part of my world,” says Schwartz, whose mother and two of his three brothers are Bethel alumni.

Initially, Schwartz wanted to pursue pre-med and music, but he decided to stick with music after feeling that it was God’s calling for him. Schwartz credits Vicky Garrett, D.M.N., Robert Rhein, Ph.D., John Dendiu, Ph.D., and Shawn Holtgren, Ph.D., ’95, ’97 — mentors and teachers of his at Bethel — for helping him get to where he is today.

Upon graduating from Bethel, Schwartz attended the prestigious Eastman School of Music and then moved to Dallas, Texas, where he began teaching voice lessons.

“As I’ve continued on since finishing my degrees, I think my plan has always been to keep growing, keep improving, keep learning.”