Dr. Thomas R. Smith, Professor Emeritus of Music at Auburn University, served as clinician for very popular Festivals '13 and '17. Dr. Smith retired as Chair of the Department of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Auburn University in 2006. After receiving the Bachelor of Music from Samford University, the Master of Arts in Music Theory from the University of Iowa, and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting and Literature from the University of Colorado; Dr. Smith came to Auburn University in 1972, where he taught choral music-related courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In 2000, he became Chair of the Department of Music, a position that he held until his retirement.
Dr. Smith founded and conducted the Auburn University Singers and also conducted the Concert Choir. He conducted two concerts in Carnegie Hall in New York City and was conductor of nine European concert tours with the Auburn University Concert Choir and University Singers. Under his direction, the Auburn University Singers and Concert Choir have performed at four Southern Division Conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. In 2005, the Auburn University Singers performed for the National Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Los Angeles.
In 1998, Dr. Smith received the Frances P. Moss Choral Directors Award from the Alabama Vocal Association and was recently presented the Paul Stewart Service Award in recognition of his work in the Music Ministry. In 2008, Dr. Smith was inducted into the inaugural class of the Alabama Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. As an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, Dr. Smith served as Southern Division president and has served as Program Chair for three divisional and four national conventions for the organization. At the Southern Division Convention of the American Choral Directors Association in Louisville, Dr. Smith was honored by his colleagues as recipient of the 2008 American Choral Directors Association Award of Excellence.
Dr. Smith continues to serve as Minister of Music at Providence Baptist Church in Opelika, a position that he has held for 42 years. He is also conductor of the Alabama Singing Men and the East Alabama Youth Chorale.