Fans of Jon Schmidt’s musical career prior to The Piano Guys are undoubtedly familiar with “Waterfall,” one of his most popular piano compositions. Visitors to BYU’s campus and former EFY attendees may recognize the tune, as well: for many years, it has been a favorite song for students to play on the public pianos in BYU’s Wilkinson Student Center and the song was featured in the EFY 2000: Forward with Faith songbook.
But now, a music video collaboration with famed Tabernacle Choir organist Richard Elliott has taken the tune to new heights as Schmidt plays his original composition on stage in the Conference Center on Temple Square alongside Elliott. And with the addition of the organ, Schmidt’s famously fast-fingered song now showcases impressive and high-speed footwork for Elliott. You can watch the full video in the player below.
Schmidt, pianist for The Piano Guys, wrote “Waterfall” when he was just 17 years old. The Piano Guys website reads “It got him the cutest girl in his high school, made him the life of many parties, and has been a big hit with pianists and piano teachers alike." It jokingly continues, “Jon says that in high school it was proof that chicks dig even ugly guys with skills.”
“Waterfall” skyrocketed in popularity early in Schmidt’s musical career, and is easily his most recognizable song today. There are countless amateur covers of the song on YouTube, and The Piano Guys’ own video release of the track has nearly 13 million video views. Because of its success, it also played a pivotal role in Schmidt deciding to pursue a full-time career as a pianist.
This isn’t the first time The Piano Guys has collaborated with The Tabernacle Choir. Previously, they recorded a music video with the world-renowned singers and appeared on Music & the Spoken Word. In a short documentary video about their collaboration projects with the Choir, Schmidt spoke of the united purpose with which the musicians share their talents.
“Everybody [performing] is united in this feeling of consecration,” he says. “We are serving [with our music]. And [as we’ve been performing we] feel such power that enhances the music.”
You can also watch The Piano Guys’ performance with the Choir on Music & the Spoken Word back in August 2022 in the player below.