Yamaha Honors Percussion Educator David Smith with Yamaha Legacy in Education Award
INDIANAPOLIS (October 5, 2017) – In honor of his profound impact on the percussive arts and music education, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis has presented music professor David Smith with the Yamaha Legacy in Education Award. The award was presented during a Percussion Ensemble concert dedicated to Smith, at the Westside campus of Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, Connecticut.
Presented by Yamaha District Managers Chris Manners and Ian Wudyka, the award recognizes distinguished Yamaha Artists and music educators for their extraordinary service to, and impact on, the field of music education. Smith retired in early May, after an extraordinary musical education career spanning 50 years.
A beloved faculty member of Western Connecticut State University since 1970, Smith previously taught instrumental music in Elmira, New York from 1967-1969, and served as a graduate assistant at East Carolina University in the 1969-70 academic year.
As a performer, Smith also served as the long-time Principal Percussionist with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Beyond the NHSO, Smith has performed with Ives Symphony Orchestra as Timpanist and Principal Percussionist, the Bridgeport Symphony as Timpanist and the Ridgefield Orchestra as Timpanist. An active solo recitalist throughout his career, Smith performed World Premieres of two compositions by Milton Babbitt – “Beaten Paths” for Solo Marimba and “Homily” for solo snare drum – at the International Percussive Arts Society Conference in Nashville, Tennessee in 1989.
Smith has recorded on CRI and Desto Records with the New England Contemporary Ensemble and recorded David Amram’s “Native American Portraits” for National Public Radio. He has performed with the Paul Whiteman Band throughout the United States and Italy.
Smith holds a B.S. Music Education from Mansfield State College and an M.M. in Percussion Performance from East Carolina University. He completed post graduate work at New York University and the Hartt School of Music. In 1995, he was selected as the Higher Education Music Educator of the year in Connecticut.
"With a career spanning more than a half century, David has touched the lives of thousands of percussion students," says John Wittmann, director, Artist Relations and Education, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis. "We're honored that he chose Yamaha to accompany him along his extraordinary professional and artistic journey, and wish him a wonderful retirement."