Michael Smith


God, Family, and Music make up the strong and guiding influences in Michael Smith’s life.  From early childhood to the present he has felt and responded to God’s presence in his life, enjoyed the unconditional love and support of family, and reveled in the joy of making music as a singer and as a conductor.

This year, while Dr. René Clausen is on sabbatical leave, Smith was appointed Associate Professor of Music at Concordia College in Moorhead where he will teach choral conducting and direct The Concordia Choir.  Prior to this appointment, he was the director of Cantabile, Männerchor, and Chapel Choir at Concordia from 2006 until his retirement in 2012.

Smith received a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Olaf College, Master of Arts in music degree from the University of Northern Colorado, and completed all but the dissertation for his PhD in Music education from the University of Minnesota.  For twenty-five years Smith was choral director at Brainerd High School where his choirs maintained a tradition of excellence performing numerous times for state and regional MENC and ACA conventions, as well as touring extensively throughout the United States, Mexico, and Europe.

In 1989, Smith was named Brainerd Teacher of the Year, and was one of nine finalists for Minnesota Teacher of the Year.  In 1990 he was honored to receive the Minnesota Music Educators Association Choral Director of the Year Award, and in 1999 he was named the Minnesota American Choral Directors Association Choral Director the year.  In 2005, the National Federation of State High School Associations named him Outstanding Music Educator of the Year.

Smith has served on the Board of Minnesota Music Educators Association and was president of Minnesota American Choral Directors Association.  He continues to be very active as a choral clinician and voice teacher.  He likes to think of his choirs as large voice classes where individuals can learn how to properly use their voices as they sing great literature.  He is an active member of NAfME, MMEA, and ACDA.