Robert W Smith Obituary – Death: American composer, conductor, arranger and educator Has Passed Away
Robert W. Smith (October 24, 1958 – September 21, 2023) was a highly respected American composer, conductor, and arranger, known for his significant contributions to the world of music education and composition.
Smith’s musical journey began in Daleville, Alabama, where he attended high school. He later pursued his passion for music at Troy State University, where he played lead trumpet in the Sound of the South marching band and studied composition under Dr. Paul Yoder. After earning his bachelor’s degree in music education from Troy State University, Smith continued his musical education in South Florida, where he studied with Dr. Alfred Reed and earned an MFA in Media Writing and Production from the University of Miami.
Throughout his career, Robert W. Smith authored over 600 print publications, many of which resulted from his collaborations with Warner Bros. Publishing and Bergwijn Catalogs. He also held the role of director of product development for C. L. Barnhouse and Walking Frog Records.
Smith’s vast body of work encompasses compositions and arrangements in various musical genres. His original compositions for wind bands and orchestras have been performed by numerous military, college, high school, and middle school ensembles across the globe. Some of his notable works include Symphony No. 1, “The Divine Comedy,” Symphony No. 2, “The Odyssey,” and “Africa: Ritual, Song and Ceremony.” His educational compositions, such as “The Tempest,” “Encanto,” and “The Great Locomotive Chase,” have become staples in the repertoire of emerging bands worldwide. His music has also been featured on major television networks and in numerous films, making it accessible to a wide range of audiences.
As a conductor and clinician, Robert W. Smith showcased his talents across the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe, and Australia. He served as the principal conductor of the American Symphony Orchestra and the American Festival Philharmonic, both renowned recording orchestras based in Washington, DC. His dedication to music education extended to co-creating the Expressive Music curriculum, a comprehensive music education program for students from pre-K through 12th grade, which includes innovative approaches to teaching music through band, such as “Band Expressions.”
Robert W. Smith’s contributions to the world of music, both as a composer and educator, have left an indelible mark. His works continue to be performed and appreciated by musicians and audiences worldwide.