Director of Bands Hired at Montgomery College; Band Program Launched

Montgomery College is pleased to announce the recent hire of Dr. Tom Smith as the newest full-time member of the music department faculty. Beginning this fall, Dr. Smith will conduct the college’s symphonic band and jazz ensembles, and coordinate the instrumental program as a whole.

[Photo of Tom Smith] “It’s an honor to have a teacher of this caliber and experience joining our faculty,” said Dr. Earl Holt, chair of performing arts at the college. “Before he began teaching, Tom experienced an exceptional career as a jazz and orchestral trumpeter. He’s taught in Texas middle school and high school band programs, and at the college level, and brings a wealth of experience to the job.”

Prior to hiring a band director, the college set out to be sure it was logistically ready for a band program. Over the past two years, more than $50,000 has been put into the purchasing of band instruments and equipment, so that when a director was hired, the program could hit the ground running.

High school band programs in this region are nationally known, according to Gregory Ristow, associate professor of music.  “Schools in Conroe ISD, for instance, frequently take top sweepstakes awards at national competitions,” said Ristow. “With more than 15 percent of graduating seniors from Conroe ISD attending Montgomery College each fall, having an option for these talented and well-prepared band students has been very high on our priority list.”

Dr. Smith received his doctorate in musical arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with the renowned trumpet artist and teacher, Raymond Crisara. Dr. Smith received his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in music education from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL.

As a music educator, he has taught instrumental music in Texas at the middle school and high school levels. For the past six years, he has taught at Berry College north of Atlanta, GA. He is a highly sought after adjudicator and clinician, and is active in several professional organizations including the Music Educators National Conference, the International Trumpet Guild, and the International Association of Jazz Educators.

In addition to his work as an educator, Dr. Smith maintains an active professional performance and writing career, having shared the stage with numerous prominent artists and groups from many different genres of music, including performances with the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra; the Victoria Bach Festival Orchestra; the Rome Symphony Orchestra; the Chamber Players of the South; the Blue Mountain Brass; the Georgia Bach Festival Orchestra; Lionel Hampton Big Band; Diane Schuur; Charlie Haden; Gunther Schuller / Duke Ellington Repertory; Kenny Wheeler; the Crowder All-Star Jazz Orchestra; and many others. 

Montgomery College offers a full associate’s degree in music, which transfers directly to Texas four-year institutions. The program has distinguished itself in recent years with technological innovations, such as its iPod for music majors program that incorporates iPods into all music major classes, and through its high-quality touring ensembles, such as the Montgomery College Chamber Singers. Music department enrollment has grown rapidly, consistently exceeding even the high college-wide growth rate.

Additional information regarding the music department at Montgomery College is online at music.montgomery-college.com. Contact Amy Cooper at 936.273.7021 or e-mail amy.f.cooper@lonestar.edu for the latest scheduled performances.

Montgomery College is located at 3200 College Park Drive, one-half mile west of Interstate 45, between Conroe and The Woodlands. For more information about the college, call (936) 273-7000.

NHMCCD, among the five largest and fastest growing community colleges in Texas, comprise, Cy-Fair College, Kingwood College, Montgomery College, North Harris College, Tomball College, six satellite centers, and The University Center.