With well over 20 years experience as a church choral conductor and singer, Mr. Smith leads Acappellago into its fourteenth season as a founding member and the Music Director of Acappellago. He is now a member of the American Choral Director's Association.
While having recently rediscovered the joys of early and Baroque music, Mr. Smith’s first love is conducting unusual works that have not yet found their place in the standard repertoire. He also enjoys presenting the works of contemporary composers and Acappellago’s first season included music by New York composer, Robert Convery, and Colorado composer, Toby Tenenbaum. All of this occurs while throwing a little bit of jazz or gospel into the mix as well.
Mr. Smith began his musical studies at the age of 4 on the accordion and switched to the Clarinet at the age of 8. He has studied Clarinet with Robert Marcellus, Larry Combs, Clark Brody and John Bruce Yeh and is a graduate of the DePaul University School of Music. Mr. Smith has been a featured soloist with the Salt Creek Sinfonietta and Wheaton Symphony Orchestra and frequently has been found playing his bass clarinet in a variety of orchestras in the Chicago area.
Mr. Smith is the coordinator of a recital series featuring the music of women composers, in which he also performs. As a clarinetist, his great love is presenting 20th century chamber works unknown to the public in recital and has given a number of Chicago area premieres.
Mr. Smith’s career as a choral conductor began in 1985 with a 13 year stint as the director of the adult choir of Bethel Reformed Church in Chicago. In 1994, he took over some conducting responsibilities as the “unofficial” assistant conductor of the Downers Grove Choral Society and had conducted their chamber choir in several programs. He has also sung with the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel Choir at the University of Chicago and can be found on their CD featuring songs of exultation and lamentations. From 2002 until 2005, Mr. Smith was the Music Director of the First Congregational Church of Lockport leading the Chancel Choir and the Pilgrim Handbell Choir and, since August 2006, has been serving as choir director of Community Congregational Church of Villa Park.