Robert W. Smith
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Robert W. Smith is an American composer, arranger, and teacher.
Smith was born in the small town of Daleville, Alabama on October 24 1958. He attended high school in Daleville, after which he left for Troy State University, where he played lead trumpet in the Sound of the South Marching Band. While at Troy, he studied composition with Dr. Paul Yoder.
Upon his graduation from Troy State with a Bachelor of Music Education degree, Smith pursued his musical career in South Florida, where he earned the Master's degree in Media Writing and Production from the University of Miami, while studying with Dr. Alfred Reed. He was soon hired by Columbia Pictures Publications and later Warner Bros./Belwin Publications. Smith's career with Warner Bros. continued until 2005, when it was bought out by Alfred Music Publishing.
In 1997, Smith returned to Troy, Alabama to become the Director of Bands at Troy State University, following the retirement of his old band director, Dr. Long. Smith would remain at Troy for four years, directing the Sound of the South Marching Band and the Symphony Band. In 2001, he left Troy to take a more full-time position with Warner Brothers Publications. His position with Warner since leaving Troy has taken him all over the world, acting as guest conductor and clinician with many ensembles, including the New Mexico All-State Small School band.
Smith's "New Day Rising" & "Don Quixote" were nominated for the 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for Contemporary Classical Album. However, they did not win any awards.
Currently, Smith has over 600 published works, including three symphonies. Symphony No. 1, The Divine Comedy, was inspired by Dante's epic; Symphony No. 2, The Odyssey, was inspired by the Greek epic of the same name; and Symphony No. 3, "Don Quixote", was inspired by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's epic of the same title.
In 2011, Smith composed a piece in memory of Mary Jo Leahey and it was premiered at the Mary Jo Leahey Symphonic Band Camp at University of Massachusetts Lowell on July 21st, 2012. The piece is entitled, Earthart: Sounds of Courage, and reflects the bravery of Amelia Earhart as she attempted to fly around the world in 1937. It was commissioned by Deb Huber, associate director of bands at UMass Lowell.
Smith has also composed two works dedicated to solo instruments–-contemporary concertos for the flute family and the euphonium--entitled Gemeinhardt Suite, and Willson Suite respectively.
Smith's piece "Into The Storm" was written to commemorate the powerful 1993 winter storm that brutalized the eastern United States. This piece is often worked into various themes and reset in different ensembles such as a version played by an orchestra, substituting the flute ostinato as a violin part; or otherwise used as a part of a marching band show (See Sandy Creek Marching Band).
Smith is a brother of Kappa Kappa Psi, having been initiated into the Zeta Upsilon chapter at then Troy State University in April 1977. His work "To the Summit" is subtitled "Strive for the Highest," the motto of the fraternity. The middle section of "To the Summit" is an arrangement of the Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity Hymn.
He is now the head of the Music Industry program in Troy State University.
In addition to composing for bands, Smith has enjoyed success writing for drum and bugle corps. He had been a member of the Charioteers Drum and Bugle Corps in Alabama in the mid-1970s. His first great success came in the mid-1980s while he was writing for the Suncoast Sound, from Clearwater, Florida – a tenure which included Suncoast's 1985 program, "A Florida Suite," the first completely original musical program ever done by a drum corps. He would later go on to write for Magic of Orlando for several years. Until 2007, he wrote for the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps, of Toledo, Ohio. Since 2011 he has been the arranger for the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. Around 2002, Robert and his wife Susan L. Smith began to work on a new project, writing a fully integrated music curriculum that would begin in elementary school and take students all the way through high school. A design team of several music educators was assembled, and the result was Music Expressions.
Before the beginning of the 2006–2007 school year, Troy University announced the re-hiring of Smith to the position of Coordinator of the Music Industry program. On December 14, 2006, Smith announced his appointment as Director of Product Development for the C. L. Barnhouse Company, and an exclusive publishing arrangement with the firm, effective January 1, 2007.
His wife, Susan Smith is currently the band director of the Saint James band.