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Rick Smith

Rick Smith - NSM Co-Founder & Director
Applied Instrument: Piano, Voice, Choral Conducting
GSMAC Director: Gwinnett Symphony Chorus, Music Director; Gwinnett Symphony Musical Arts Consortium, Artistic Director
Online, Buford
NSM Faculty: Since 1997

An active Music Director, Educator and Entrepreneur, Rick Smith serves as Music Director of Gwinnett Symphony Chorus, Chamber Singers, and Executive Director of Gwinnett Symphony Musical Arts Consortium. Mr. Smith is Executive Director of New School of Music and Director of Music Ministries at Johns Creek Christian Church.

Mr. Smith began formal study of music on piano at the age of 7. He comes from a very musical family where everyone was expected to play an instrument or sing. It was quickly noticed that he had a talent for piano and became the pianist at his church at age 12, and continued until he began his college career. While studying music at Shorter College in Rome, GA, Mr. Smith not only strengthened and refined his skills as a pianist and vocalist, but he also developed a passion and a taste for exquisite choral music. Though his primary instrument is piano, private voice instruction and extensive choral training played a huge role in the make up of Mr. Smith's musical studies. While receiving Bachelor’s degrees in both Church Music and Music Education, Mr. Smith gained exposure to choral music under the tutelage of choral genius, John H. Ratledge III, Ph.D. Dr. Ratledge, a student of the world renowned choral composer, Morten Lauridsen, engrained into his students a broad spectrum of remarkable technique in all genres
of music.

Mr. Smith serves as Director of Music Ministries at Johns Creek Christian Church located in Johns Creek, GA. Prior to that, he held a music ministry position for 9 ½ years at First Christian Church of Atlanta, (Disciples of Christ), in Tucker, GA. In 1997, Mr. Smith co-founded New School of Music, which has three primary locations in the Atlanta area. New School of Music employs approximately 80 professional faculty and staff, and provides quality, private and group music instruction to over 1600 students.

Mr. Smith has maintained a leadership role with Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra & Chorus since 1997. Currently he conducts the Gwinnett Symphony Chorus, which he founded in 2007. The GSO Chorus is made up of musicians and vocalists of all levels and abilities and performs with the Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra at the Performing Arts Center at Gwinnett Center several times per year. The chorus performs sacred and secular works, major classical works, as well as contemporary selections from musical genres ranging from film scores to pop. Under Mr. Smith’s direction, The GSOC was recently bestowed the honor of performing in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York, NY, on September 11, 2011, for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. The performance, as part of the Distinguished Concerts International New York City (DCINY) Concert Series, was of Rene Clausen’s “Memorial”, and was conducted by the composer.