This page gives us an opportunity to introduce one of our members “up close and personal”. Our featured player is Paul Smith, Percussion.
Paul Smith has been playing drums since a very young age. From playing on pots and pans to receiving toy drums every Christmas, percussion has been a strong part of his life. Having two very musical parents (mother – piano and father – trumpet) to many other relatives involved in music, this was a very natural and enjoyable life path.
At age 11, he started playing in the Artisans Memorial Post Band of Philadelphia, with his father, uncle and cousin, Joe Gerdelmann (a current MCCB trumpet member). This was a first musical mile stone playing in many different concerts, parades (Mummer’s parade included) and other musical events.
Through Inglewood Elementary, Pennfield Middle and North Penn High School, he played in most school bands. While marching band, was a strong focus, performing with the jazz band and learning many musical and life skills from Steve “Fred” Fredrick’s was a strong influence. In addition to performing with the Bux-Mont Band, District Band and American Music Abroad, he also played in many musical pit orchestras, something he still enjoys today.
Paul is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, (something Steve always let him know wasn’t West Chester) and holds a BFA degree in percussion. In college, he regularly played with the Johnstown and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestras. Upon graduation, he toured with the American Wind Symphony Orchestra. This is a wind ensemble that performs on a boat in and around the Pittsburg, PA region.
Outside of school, his other musical passion was drum and bugle corps. First performing locally for two years with the Bux-Mont Raiders of Souderton, PA and then nationally for three years with the Crossmen. This experience lead to over 30 years of teaching, writing and judging the marching arts.
From 1977 through 2008 Paul taught and composed percussion music for: Upper Merion, Henderson, North Penn, Perkiomen Valley, Wissahickon, Methacton, Souderton, Emmaus and Pottsgrove high schools. From this a new passion developed, judging for both marching bands and indoor percussion. This began in 1983 and continues to today. Current judging affiliations include Cavalcade of Bands, Cavalcade Indoor, Mid Atlantic Percussion Association, Indiana Percussion Association and Drum Corps Associates. Previous affiliations include Sourthern California Percussion Alliance, Atlantic Indoor Association, Keystone Indoor Drill Association, Tournament of Bands and Tournament Indoor. In 2010, he became the Cavalcade of Bands Judging Coordinator, an administrative position he still holds today. He is also very proud to be the assistant band director/mallet arranger for the Cavalcade of Bands Honor band which will march in the Tournament of Roses parade in Pasadena, CA on January 1, 2015.
He joined the percussion section of the Montgomery County Concert Band in the fall of 2009 and totally enjoys the friendship and performance opportunities with the section. Prior performing ensembles include many combo groups, Diversity Big Band of DE, Pottsgrove Community Band, Quakertown Band, Pottstown Symphony Orchestra, various school musical pit orchestras, recitals and several church performances. He later also joined the Montgomery County Jazz Band.
Paul is currently in his 32nd consecutive year working for the J.W. Pepper & Son Inc. sheet music company of Exton, PA as Vice President Corporate Facilities, Customer Contact Center. He has several percussion pieces published through both Alfred Publishing and Honeyrock Publishing. He has two adult children (Kevin and Heather) who are both extremely musically active and lives in Pottstown, PA with his wife Sue, of 32 years.