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Todd Schroeder Announces His Return To Sonora After Heartbreaking Family Event

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After a five year absence, musician and composer Todd Schroeder (SHS class of ’84) will return to the Mother Lode on Saturday April 30th for the Young Artist Grant Benefit Concert at Sonora High School.

Schroeder was Wednesday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.

Each time Schroeder has performed at Sonora High School, he plays on the school’s 1964 Model B Steinway Grand Piano. It is the same piano that Schroeder learned to play on as a student. The piano has been completely refurbished, at a 2009 cost of $16,000.00.

But what kept Schroeder away from Sonora for the past five years?

There is a line for most well known artists between their public life and their personal life. I asked Schroeder what he would like the Mother Lode community to know.

“Shortly after the concert in 2017, my oldest daughter Julia was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer,” said Schroeder. “For the past four years, she had been fighting the cancer and anybody who has dealt with similar circumstances knows that you just can’t make any plans. So, we could never plan to do the benefit concert. Unfortunately, my daughter passed away last summer at the age of eighteen.”

Schroeder continued, “Julia loved everything about this concert in Sonora. I thought a great way to honor her and to honor what’s important to me is to start doing the concert again. Julia asked me to do it. So we’re gonna come back on April 30th this year and do the benefit concert inside of the theater at Sonora High School and ironically, it wasn’t planned this way but it just turned out that April 30th was Julia’s birthday.

Sonora is my heart, my home, my roots and my school. For the past twenty years, I’ve been doing this benefit concert as my way to thank the community and give back for all that they’ve done for me. Sonora has helped supply me with my dreams and my career and this is the way that I can thank my friends and family and everyone who is a part of the Mother Lode. I am more passionate than ever before about giving back to the community.”

Schroeder will bring back several of his friends and artists who have previously performed here, as well as some new faces. The full lineup will be announced at a later date. The ticket sales at Sonora High School will begin in April. The proceeds will help fund grants for graduating seniors to further their studies in fine arts.

As a longtime friend, I told Todd how heartbroken and devastated I am for his entire family and added that I couldn’t quite find the right words.

Schroeder replied, “I totally get that. It’s a hard one.. a hard one for everybody. But I will tell you this; We celebrate Julia now. We celebrated every day that she was sick and one of the things that we kept talking about was that she’s not dying, she’s living. So we celebrate living every day and that’s what we continue to do. That’s how I’ve always lived my life. That’s how I brought my kids up, long before cancer became a part of our vocabulary. And that’s what we’re going to continue to do. That’s what this benefit concert does… it celebrates young kids who want to pursue a career in the arts and it celebrates this entire community.

I think the focus really is about celebrating and celebration. That doesn’t mean that we have to not give value to loss, but in that value to the loss we can focus on what made this so important. And that is what I’m going to continue to do.”

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard each weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.