Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Degree

Spring 2015

Degree Name

DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts)

Degree In

Music

First Advisor

Mark Heidel

Abstract

This thesis provides a historical account of the career of Gary E. Smith, Associate Director of Bands Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Specific attention is given to Mr. Smith’s influences as a collegiate band director and his innovations in the band products industry. This study contributes to the growing scholarship of historical accounts of influential collegiate band directors and is the first to chronicle someone who served as an Associate Director of Bands.

Research methods utilized during the writing of this thesis included oral interviews with Mr. Smith, his family, and his former students. Moreover, Mr. Smith’s professional papers were reviewed at the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music. Additional research included reviewing multiple editions of the Syracuse-Wawasee Journal, Indiana Statesman, Daily Illini, and annual yearbooks from the educational institutions where Mr. Smith served on faculty.

This study begins by highlighting Smith’s childhood influences and chronicles his career through his retirement at the University of Illinois. Emphasis is given to his influence with the Marching Illini and his commercial ventures, including the Smith Walbridge Clinics, Director’s Showcase International, and his textbook, The System.

Thorough examination of Mr. Smith’s career reveals several themes regarding his personality: He is totally dedicated to the success of his students; he tirelessly works to build personal relationships with everyone he encounters; and he has a passion for self-improvement. Gary Smith is known for his many professional impacts, influences, and innovations but is beloved by the profession for his genuine, compassionate, and down-to-earth personality.

Public Abstract

This thesis provides a historical account of the career of Gary E. Smith, Associate Director of Bands Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Specific attention is given to Mr. Smith’s influences as a collegiate band director and his innovations in the band products industry. This study contributes to the growing scholarship of historical accounts of influential collegiate band directors and is the first to chronicle someone who served as an Associate Director of Bands.

Research methods utilized during the writing of this thesis included oral interviews with Mr. Smith, his family, and his former students. Moreover, Mr. Smith’s professional papers were reviewed at the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music. Additional research included reviewing multiple editions of the Syracuse-Wawasee Journal, Indiana Statesman, Daily Illini, and annual yearbooks from the educational institutions where Mr. Smith served on faculty.

This study begins by highlighting Smith’s childhood influences and chronicles his career through his retirement at the University of Illinois. Emphasis is given to his influence with the Marching Illini and his commercial ventures, including the Smith Walbridge Clinics, Director’s Showcase International, and his textbook, The System.

Thorough examination of Mr. Smith’s career reveals several themes regarding his personality: He is totally dedicated to the success of his students; he tirelessly works to build personal relationships with everyone he encounters; and he has a passion for self-improvement. Gary Smith is known for his many professional impacts, influences, and innovations but is beloved by the profession for his genuine, compassionate, and down-to-earth personality.

Keywords

publicabstract, Band, Gary, Illini, Marching, Smith, Walbridge

Pages

xi, 237 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 229-237).

Comments

This thesis has been optimized for improved web viewing. If you require the original version, contact the University Archives at the University of Iowa: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc/contact/.

Copyright

Copyright 2015 Steven Robert Riley

Included in

Music Commons

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