Dr. Shawn Smith

Dr. Shawn Smith

Director of Bands
Brigham Young University


Shawn Smith serves as Director of Bands in the Brigham Young University School of Music. Prior to his appointment at BYU, he was Director of Bands at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. 

Smith holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in instrumental conducting from Arizona State University, and Master of Music and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from Louisiana State University and Boise State University respectively.

In high demand as a band and orchestra conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, Smith has been invited to conduct professional and educational ensembles throughout the United States, South America and Europe, including the Banda Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (Brazil), the Banda Sinfónica de la Província de Córdoba (Argentina), the Wind Orchestra of Médio Tejo (Portugal), and members of the Charlotte Symphony (North Carolina). Smith has also been invited to conduct region and all-state bands in Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina and Texas.

Equally at home with opera and musical theater productions, Smith has conducted pit orchestras for the Marriage of Figaro and a six-week run of Les Misérables. His performances have been heard numerous times on American Public Media’s "Performance Today," the most popular classical music radio program in the United States. In 2015 Smith was awarded second place for the American Prize in Conducting-Professional Band Division.

Smith serves as a guest conductor and visiting professor of conducting for the annual International Festival of Music of Pará, Brazil, and has conducted professional and community bands throughout Brazil, from the large cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo to small towns and villages in Northern Brazil.

In the area of research, Smith has been published in the Journal of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles and in Alta Musica and he has presented his research at national and international conferences in the United States, Europe and South America. Smith has also presented numerous educational clinics, workshops and speeches, most notably at the International Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, Illinois and at state music conferences throughout the United States.

As a public school teacher, Smith served as Director of Bands and Orchestra at one of the largest high schools in Idaho where he administered a comprehensive instrumental music program. While at Meridian High School, ensembles under his direction were distinguished as among the finest in the state.

An accomplished trumpeter, Smith has performed with the Corpus Christi Symphony, the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra (Idaho), the Acadiana Symphony (Louisiana), Keith Brion’s New Sousa Band, and with the Temptations.

During his tenure as Director of Bands at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Smith received the Texas A&M System Teaching Excellence Award twice. Smith holds honorary memberships in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Sigma Alpha Iota and Kappa Kappa Psi. He also holds memberships in the Utah Music Educators Association, the National Band Association, the College Band Directors National Association, and the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles.

  Session Titles

Setting Goals and Creating Boundaries for Greater Success in the Instrumental Music Class


This clinic focuses on setting high, but realistic expectations in both performance and behavior in order to achieve the greatest level of success in any teaching situation. Great teaching can overcome any obstacle that might stand in the way of success.

Stop Practicing: Making music in the instrumental rehearsal


By focusing solely on practicing for the upcoming performance, we rob our students and ourselves of hundreds of potentially moving and inspiring musical moments. This clinic offers practical suggestions to change student and director perceptions of rehearsing from one of practicing music to making music. With an emphasis on performing music in rehearsal, we will find that the experience will be more enjoyable, students will be more engaged, and our performances will be more musically satisfying.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Choosing repertoire that speaks to students


A clinic that discusses one of most important roles as a conductor and teacher--selecting meaningful repertoire that will draw students to a life in music.

The Power of Music and the Arts in a Community


A speech that addresses the importance and cultural, financial, and educational impact that music and the arts have on a community.

Unlocking Greater Musical Potential Through Engaged Conducting


An engaged conductor looks at music in a holistic way and shares more musical responsibilities with the individual members of the ensemble. This clinic offers suggestions to help conductors unlock more musical potential by doing more of some things and less of others.