About Steven Smith
Conductor, instrumentalist, and music educator Steven Smith holds a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois, and a bachelor’s in music education from Washburn University of Topeka. He has participated in conducting master classes in Mexico City Mexico, Riverside California, and at West Virginia University. Steven has studied violin and viola with Alvin Pells, Cynthia Scully, Jack Herriman, Anne Mischakoff, and Hugh Brown, and string pedagogy with Tiberius Klausner and Merton Shatzkin.
Music director and conductor of the Olathe Community Orchestra since 1985, Steven has also appeared as guest conductor for the Mexico City Philharmonic, the Topeka Symphony, the Overland Park Orchestra, the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, and the Kansas City and Topeka Youth Symphonies. Steven was assistant conductor and violist for the Orquesta Mexicana de la Juventud in Mexico City in 1982. Steven has served as conductor for thirty-seven summer musicals at Shawnee Mission Theater-in-the-Park, earning their Founders’ Award in 1997, and he has also been conductor for numerous academic productions. Steven founded and conducted the Overland Park Chamber Orchestra during summers 1990-94.
Steven was director of orchestras and instructor of music theory at Paseo Academy, Kansas City’s high school for the performing arts, from 1987 to 2011, and since retiring has continued his involvement in the music classroom as a substitute band and orchestra teacher. Frequently engaged as a clinician, Steven has worked with the Heart of America Suzuki Association, the Kansas City Music Teachers’ Association, the Northeast Kansas Music Educators’ Association, and the Kansas City and Olathe Kansas public schools, and he has also presented numerous workshops in conducting, orchestra, and chamber music. Steven has been a private instructor of strings and woodwinds for more than 40 years, working at studios in Topeka, Shawnee, Lenexa, and Olathe Kansas, and he currently maintains a studio of violin and viola students at Metropolitan Conservatory in Olathe.
Continually active as a performer for over 40 years, Steven has appeared as a string and/or reed player, arranger, and vocalist with such groups as the Brian McCarty Band (polka), Loosenz with the Tighten-Up Horns (soul), Yoruba Son (salsa), and Spring Fever (rock and pop). He played saxophone with the Kansas City Chiefs TD Pack Band in 1995-97. Currently, Steven performs with the Silverwood Ensembles (classical), AnnaLee and the Lucky So ‘n’ Sos (swing), and Der Alpen Spielers (oompah), and he makes many freelance appearances as well. Steven is founder, leader, and instrumentalist for two early 20th-Century ensembles, the Sunflower Ragtime Orchestra and the Radio Days Orchestra.
Steven lives in Olathe with his wife, flutist Emily Smith. They have one adult son, Gregory.