Dr. Aaron Smith


"The chorus numbered 89 Midshipmen, all amateurs, but Dr. Aaron Smith, director of the Musical Activities Department at Annapolis, has molded them into a coherent entity that sounds virtually professional. There is none of the muddiness that one usually encounters with a large group of untrained singers." -Maine Sunday Telegram
"The choirs contributed shimmering, translucent timbres to the vocal movements." -The New York Sun
"The Dessoff Choirs, capably conducted by Aaron Smith, matched the Kronos in derring-do, taking the work as seriously, finding the beauty..." -Musical America
"...with a conductor whose gentle connection to the music and singers was an artform in itself." -Mander Organs

Audio
Examples are taken from archival recordings not meant for public consumption. As such, microphone placement is often distant and unbalanced.

No. 01 - Ubi caritas (Durufle) - professional choir
No. 02 - If Ye Love Me (Tallis) - professional choir
No. 03 - Requiem - Introit and Kyrie (Durufle) - professional choir
No. 04 - Cum jubilo - Gloria (Durufle) - professional choir
No. 05 - Betelehemu (Olatunji) - beginner amateur chorus
No. 06 - Christmas Cantata - O magnum mysterium (Pinkham) - professional choir and orchestra
No. 07 - Weihnachtsoratorium - Excerpts (Bach) - beginner amateur chorus and orchestra
No. 08 - Shenandoah (Bartholomew) - Naval Academy Men's Glee Club
No. 09 - Spaseniye sodelal (Chesnokov) - Naval Academy Men's Glee Club
No. 10 - Eternal Father (Dykes) - Naval Academy Men's Glee Club
No. 11 - America the Beautiful (Ward) - Naval Academy Men's Glee Club
No. 12 - Prayers of Kierkegaard - Excerpt (Barber) - professional choir and orchestra

Recent Video

USNA Glee Club performing the annual Messiah concerts in Annapolis, click here.
USNA Glee Club performing with Rene Fleming in front of the President and over half a million people live, click here.
USNA Men's Glee Club performing with Chanticleer, click here.

Professional Experience (past 10 years)

Director of Musical Activities, Chairman, and Principal Conductor
United States Naval Academy
Annapolis, Maryland
2006-present

Lead Clinician and Adjudicator
Annapolis Music Festival
Annapolis, Maryland
2007-present

Conductor
Multiple ad hoc Amateur and Professional Ensembles (choral and orchestral)
New York, New York
2001-2006

Assistant Director of Music
Church of St. Ignatius Loyola
980 Park Avenue, New York, New York
2001-2005

Guest Conductor
Montclair State University
Montclair Heights, New Jersey
2003-2006

Principal Guest Conductor
The Dessoff Choirs
New York, New York
2001-2006

Associate Professor and Director of Choral Activities
Bard Early College (Bard College, Manhattan Campus)
New York, New York
2001-2003

Assistant Conductor
Masterwork Chorus
Morristown, New Jersey
1999-2001

Professional Collaborations

New York Philharmonic
Philadelphia Orchestra
New Jersey Symphony
Nashville Symphony
Portland Symphony
Winston-Salem Symphony
Orchestra of St. Lukes
Brooklyn Philharmonic
Kronos Quartet
Chanticleer
Baltimore Choral Arts Society
Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola
American Boychoir
Mark Morris Dance Group
Live from Lincoln Center
Mostly Mozart Festival
Great Performers Series
The Dessoff Choirs
Masterwork Chorus
Kurt Mazur
Wolfgang Sawallisch
Sir Colin Davis
Zdenek Macal
John Rutter
Joseph Flummerfelt
Andrew McGill
Craig Hella Johnson
Albert-George Schram
Robert Moody
George Stevens
Ian Fraser
Tom Hall
Stephen Paulus
Cultural Services of the Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, France, and Korea Embassies
Brooklyn Academy of Music
Lincoln Center
Kennedy Center
Carnegie Hall
HBO, ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT, PBS Television

Selected Soloists With Whom Dr. Smith Has Recently Collaborated

Renee Fleming
Marietta Simpson
Heidi Grant Murphy
Susanne Mentzer
Karen Clift
Meredith Arwady
Janice Chandler Eteme
Christine Brandes
Richard Croft
Gregory Kunde
Dean Peterson
Stanford Olsen
Steven Humes
Kevin Burdette
Benjamin Butterfield
Robin Blaze
Sara Murphy
Oren Gradus
Paul Groves
Kathleen Kim

Selected Performances 2001-2014

Beethoven Symphony No.9
US Naval Academy and the Annapolis Symphony
Aaron Smith, conductor
April, 2014

Concert Tour - Arizona, Nevada, and California
US Naval Academy
Aaron Smith, conductor
March, 2014

Kennedy Center Honors
US Naval Academy, Joseph Calleja, Sondra Radvanovsky
Aaron Smith, chorus master (Steven White, conductor)
December, 2013 - National Broadcast

Handel Messiah
US Naval Academy and the Annapolis Symphony
Aaron Smith, conductor
December, 2013 - National Broadcast

JFK 50th Commemoration
US Naval Academy
Aaron Smith, conductor
November, 2013 - National and International Broadcast

"A Tribute to America's Heroes!"
US Naval Academy and the Winston-Salem Symphony (South Carolina)
Aaron Smith, chorus master (Robert Moody, conductor)
November, 2013

Verdi Requiem
US Naval Academy and the Annapolis Symphony
Aaron Smith, conductor
April, 2013

"Carnegie Hall"
US Naval Academy, Harvard Glee Club, University Glee Club of New York
Aaron Smith, Andrew Clark, and Francisco Nunez, Conductors
January, 2013

"Christmas in Washington"
US Naval Academy, Conan O'Brien, Diana Ross, Megan Hilty, Demi Lovato, Scotty McCreery, Chris Mann, PSY
National Television Broadcast (with the President and First Family)
December, 2012

Concert Tour - Georgia and South Carolina
US Naval Academy
Aaron Smith, conductor
November, 2012

Mahler Symphony No. 2
US Naval Academy and the Annapolis Symphony
Aaron Smith, conductor
April, 2012

Concert Tour - Texas
US Naval Academy
Aaron Smith, conductor
March, 2012

"Christmas in Washington"
US Naval Academy, Conan O'Brien, Justin Bieber, CeeLo Green, Victoria Justice, etc.
National Television Broadcast (with the President and First Family)
December, 2011

Handel Messiah
US Naval Academy and the Annapolis Symphony
Aaron Smith, conductor
December, 2011

Concert Tour - Michigan
US Naval Academy
Aaron Smith, conductor
November, 2011

"A Tribute to America's Heroes!"
US Naval Academy and the Portland Symphony (Maine)
Aaron Smith, chorus master (Robert Moody, conductor)
October, 2011

Faure Requiem and Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms
US Naval Academy and the Annapolis Symphony
Aaron Smith, conductor
April, 2011

Concert Tour
US Naval Academy
Florida and Puerto Rico
March, 2011

Dvorak Requiem
US Naval Academy and the Annapolis Symphony
Aaron Smith, conductor
2010

"We Are One" Inauguration Concert for President Obama
Renee Fleming and the US Naval Academy
Lincoln Memorial (HBO Broadcast, live audience of over 500,000 people)
2009

Orff Carmina Burana
US Naval Academy and the Annapolis Symphony
Aaron Smith, conductor
2008

"A Tribute to America's Heroes"
US Naval Academy and the Nashville Symphony (Schermerhorn Symphony Center)
Aaron Smith and Albert-George Schram, conductors
2007

Riley Sun Rings for String Quartet and Chorus *Connecticut Premiere
Kronos Quartet and the Dessoff Choirs for the University of Connecticut, Jorgensen Auditorium 50th Anniversary
Aaron Smith, conductor
2006

Handel Judas Maccabaeus
Brooklyn Philharmonic and Festival Singers
Aaron Smith, conductor
2006

New York Metropolitan Museum of Art "Lighting of the Christmas Tree" Concert
Canticum Sacrum Choir
Aaron Smith, conductor
2004

Riley Sun Rings for String Quartet and Chorus *New York Premiere
Kronos Quartet and the Dessoff Choirs at the Brooklyn Academy of Music Concert Hall
Aaron Smith, conductor
2004

Victoria Missa Vidi speciosam and Durufle Requiem
Professional Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola
Aaron Smith, conductor
2003

Vivaldi Gloria
Mark Morris Dance Group and the Dessoff Choirs
Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center
2003

Cain Goldberg Variations
"Great Performers Series" at Lincoln Center *New York Premiere
Aaron Smith, conductor
2003

Durufle Messe Cum jubilo
Professional Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola (in collaboration with the Sounds French! Festival)
Aaron Smith, featured conductor along with Boulez, Rostropovich, and selected notable others
2003

Works of Poulenc, Johnson, Thompson, and others
Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola, The American Boychoir (Featured Concert of ACDA National Convention)
Aaron Smith, Vincent Matello, and Kent Tritle, conductors
2002

D'Indy Saint Marie-Magdeleine and works of Massenet, Frank, Guilmant, and Saint-Saens
Professional Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola
Aaron Smith, conductor
2002

Barber Prayers of Kierkegaard
Professional Choir and Orchestra of St. Ignatius Loyola
Aaron Smith, conductor
2001

Handel Messiah
Masterwork Chorus at Carnegie Hall
Prepared chorus (Andrew Megill, conductor)
2001

Recordings

PBS' Anthem, 2012
Features Chorus as Definitive Rendering of the U.S. National Anthem
Aaron Smith, conductor

On Tour: Volume II, 2010
US Naval Academy Men's Glee Club
Aaron Smith, conductor

New Sounds Live, 2005
Radio Interview with John Shafer (WNYC)
Kronos Quartet, Aaron Smith, and other panelists

The Littlest Light on the Christmas Tree, 2003
Animated Film
Assembled Choir, Aaron Smith, conductor

Wedding Music, 2003
Professional Choir of St. Ignatius Loyola
AMDG Records, Aaron Smith, conductor

PBS' "Live from Lincoln Center", 2001
Mozart Requiem, The Dessoff Choirs
Gerard Schwarz, conductor (Aaron Smith prepared chorus)
*Emmy-Nominated Broadcast

Dvorak Requiem, 2000
Westminster Symphonic Choir
DELOS Records (Performer)
*Grammy Award Winning Recording

Education

Doctor of Musical Arts
Choral Conducting
State University of New York, Stony Brook

Master of Music (with Highest Honors and Distinction, 4.0 GPA)
Choral Conducting
Westminster Choir College

Bachelor of Music
Choral Music Education / Choral Studies
University of Texas at Austin

Performance Certificate
Vocal Performance
University of Texas at Austin

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