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Biography


Jack Smith is highly active as a conductor in many genres from choral music of the renaissance and baroque eras, via the classical and romantic orchestral and operatic repertoire, to contemporary works, light music and musical theatre.  In frequent demand as a guest conductor, Jack has worked with a wide variety of wind ensembles, brass bands, orchestras and choirs.  Amongst this eclectic mix of work, one of Jack's particular passions is to redress the balance in favour of neglected British music, in which he has been greatly inspired by the work of Vernon Handley.


Most recently Jack has appeared in concert with the Kippax Band, Mid Somerset Orchestra and Epsom & Ewell Silver Band, and over the past few years has also worked with Bath Symphony Orchestra, Colne Philharmonic Orchestra, Dorking Chamber Orchestra, Imperial College Wind Orchestra, University College London Chamber Music Society and Orchestra of the City.  He has collaborated with several composers in producing first performances of their work, and has performed with notable soloists including Maria Marchant and Roderick Elms, along with his duo partner Joanna Smith.  Jack has also continued to develop his work in the fields of opera and musical theatre, most recently at the Tete-a-Tete and Grimeborn Opera festivals, for Opera Gallery at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and as musical director to Bounce Theatre in their first musical production. 


Jack is a graduate of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, where he studied with David Jones and Adrian Partington, becoming the first conducting student to earn a Master of Music degree.  Prior to this he was a scholarship student at Trinity College of Music, where he was awarded the college conducting prize and graduated with first class honours.  Whilst studying at RWCMD, Jack's activities included regular work with the Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and acting as assistant conductor for the college's summer opera productions. He also assisted such eminent guest conductors as Sir Charles Mackerras and Paul Daniel, and has recently benefited further from the guidance of Sir Mark Elder.  In other studies Jack has been privileged to work with some of the most highly-regarded teachers in Britain today, including Michael Rose, Peter Stark and Howard Williams.  


Sample biography for online use only; full version available on request - contact...

 

Curriculum Vitae

MMus, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

Alan J Kirby Memorial Prize, Trinity College of Music, 2006

Orchestral & Ensemble:

Bacchus Wind Band, Bath Symphony Orchestra, Brent Symphony Orchestra, Camden Chamber Orchestra, Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra, Cobham Band, Dorking Chamber Orchestra, Enfield Chamber Orchestra, Epsom & Ewell Silver Band, Forest of Dean Brass, Hayes Symphony Orchestra, Horsham Borough Band, Imperial College Wind Orchestra, Lambeth Wind Orchestra, Lindley Band, London Phoenix Orchestra, Mid Somerset Orchestra, Orchestra elan, Orchestra of the City, RWCMD Symphony Orchestra, Sheffield University Brass Band, Southampton University Sinfonietta, Southend Philharmonic Orchestra, Strata Brass, Symphonic Wind Orchestra of North London, Thoresby Colliery Band, Trinity College of Music Student Union Repertoire Orchestra, Trinity College of Music Brass Ensemble, Trinity College of Music Wind Ensemble, UK Medical Students' Orchestra

Choral:

Cardiff Male Choir, Chepstow Male Voice Choir, The Choir of St Luke's Chelsea, Havering Singers, Hounslow Central Harmony Community Choir, RWCMD Chorus, Stanmore Choral Society, University College London Chamber Music Society, WNO MAX Community Chorus

Stage productions with:

Bounce Theatre, Brampton Manor School, Gloucester Operatic & Dramatic Society, Opera Gallery (Guildhall School of Music & Drama) RWCMD Opera (assistant conductor), Soap Opera Productions

Highlights:


Conducting Kippax Band in two cabaret concerts of West End showstoppers, featuring music from a wide range of shows (October 2015)

Conducting Mid Somerset Orchestra in their annual 'Summer Prom' concert at the Strode Theatre, Street, featuring a variety of music by Delius, Elgar, Gershwin, Vaughan Williams & others (July 2015)


Musical Director to Epsom & Ewell Silver Band (2012-15), giving a final performance at the London & Southern Counties Regional Championship (Section 1) which earned the band its best ever result at this level


Conducting Horsham Borough Band
in 'Brass at the Movies', a joint concert with Mole Valley Silver Band, hosted by BBC Radio 3's Ian Skelly (November 2014)


Conducting 'Black Sand', a new horror opera by Na'ama Zisser, at the Tete-a-Tete and Grimeborn Opera Festivals (August 2013)

Conducting Colne Philharmonic Orchestra in a concert featuring works by Handel, Telemann and Beethoven (July 2013)

Four performances as assistant Musical Director to Cool Fusion, an interdisciplinary collaboration celebrating the London  Olympic Games (Summer 2012)

Two concerts as conductor to Southend Philharmonic Orchestra, featuring a wide variety of light music and traditional symphonic repertoire (March & June 2012)

Conductor for Michael Taplin's "Night Dance", one of three brand new operas featured in 'Opera Gallery', a student-led showcase at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama (April 2012)

A return visit to Forest of Dean Brass as Guest Musical Director, winning a clean sweep of the available prizes at Gloucestershire Brass Band Association's Annual Contest (2011)

Musical Director to Bounce Theatre's production of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (2011)

Conductor for Trinity Strings for Japan, performing works by Takemitsu and Glazunov as part of a concert organised by students at Trinity College of Music in aid of the Red Cross Appeal (2011)

Musical Director to University College London Chamber Music Society for their Christmas Concert project, featuring a variety of choral music including performances of works by Praetorius & Schutz accompanied on period instruments (2010)

Conductor for Brampton Manor School's production of Oh! What A Lovely War (2010)

Musical Director to Forest of Dean Brass, for a wide variety of concert and contest engagements (2009-2010)

Musical Director to Gloucester Operatic & Dramatic Society for Leslie Bricusse's Scrooge (2009)

Conductor of UK Medical Students' Orchestra for a week-long residential course in Cardiff, culminating in a concert at St David's Hall in aid of the Children's Hospital for Wales (2009)

Assistant conductor on RWCMD operatic productions (2008-2009)

Conducting RWMCD Symphony Orchestra in concerts at St David's Hall, Cardiff (2008-2009)

Participation in conducting masterclasses with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Principal Guest Conductor Jac van Steen (2008)

Devising, producing and conducting an orchestral concert to mark Elgar's 150th anniversary (2007)

Conductor for Trinity College of Music Student Union Repertoire Orchestra in collaborative performances with dance students from Laban (2006)

Repertoire:

Includes a wide range of works by Adams, Addinsell, Bach, Bax, Beethoven, Berlioz, Bizet, Bliss, Borodin, Brahms, Britten, Byrd, Chabrier, Coates, Debussy, Delius, Dvorak, Elgar, Gershwin, Ginastera, Glazunov, Glinka, Grieg, Handel, Haydn, Holst, Howells, Hindemith, Ireland, Joubert, Mahler, Mendelssohn, Messaien, Mozart, Monteverdi, Mussorgsky, Palestrina, Parry, Piazzolla, Praetorius, Prokofiev, Puccini, Purcell, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Rogers, Rossini, Roussel, Schubert, Schumann, Schutz, Sibelius, Smetana, Sousa, Stanford, J Strauss II, R Strauss, Stravinsky, Sullivan, Takemitsu, Tchaikovsky, Telemann, Vaughan Williams, Verdi, Wagner, Weber, Wood


Sample CV for online use only; full version available on request - contact...

 


Soapbox

Why conduct?  Like many, I started more or less by accident; despite having had lessons and conducted a few things at school, my first conducting 'break' came unexpectedly, when I stepped up to deputise in rehearsal for a local amateur orchestra.  Through a wide range of orchestral work, I have also noticed how many conductors who may have started by accident seem to carry on in a similar fashion.  A desire to learn and study thoroughly, and a firm conviction that musicians at all levels deserve to work with conductors who are suitably trained and prepared, are what have driven me further.

It's not about a power-trip - or rather, if it is, it's one based on the power that the music has over us.  I'm not out to serve myself; my duty is to the composer (and his/her intentions as laid out in the score) and the performers I am working with.  A good conductor can - and should - bring music to life and enable musicians of all ages and abilities to perform at their very best.

 

 

 

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