James D. Smith is now retired after 40 years in music education. For
eighteen years he was director of choral activities of Kenton High School.
While in Kenton, his students regularly received top ratings in solo,
ensemble, and full choir OMEA Events. He also started one of the first show
choirs in Northwestern Ohio. During his twenty-two years at Findlay, the
choirs consistently received superior ratings at State Contest, and the
First Edition Show Choir was a finalist in every competition it entered
since 1989, including the Showstoppers National Grand Champion in 2000 and
2005, and the FAME National Show Choir Cup Grand Champion in 2004. His final
year he was director of First Edition’s back up band, “The Boingers,” and
served as resource person.
JD is a graduate of Bowling Green State University where he received both
his Bachelors and Master’s degrees. He was a vocal student of Warren Allen,
Rex Eikum and Andrea Poulimenos, and did additional study with Helen Swank
of the Ohio State University. He studied conducting with Fiora Contino and
Ivan Trussler. Mr. Smith is a certified O.M.E.A. adjudicator and presents
clinics on show choirs, vocal technique, and vocal abuse--its causes and
In retirement, Mr. Smith, continues to edit and arrange music and conduct
vocal clinics for ensembles throughout the mid west. He also supervises
student teachers through the BGSU College of Musical Arts.