Smith Music will see the final group of students play their stage June 27-29
by Stephen Dafoe
For the past 25 years, music students of all ages and skill levels have ascended the Smith Music stage to show parents, family, and friends how they had progressed over the previous year. Next week, that annual concert series will take place for the last time.
Smith Music will hold its final student concerts on June 27, 28, and 29 at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.
“This is the last concert series of 25 years of doing concerts in Morinville, and the students have been working really hard,” said music teacher Paul Smith. “Everybody knows this is the last one, so they are putting in that last effort to pick the song that’s much more challenging for them so they can go out on their best foot forward.”
Smith said since learning that he would close the music school to devote time to consulting work, students have stepped up in the last couple of months of lessons.
The three-night concert series will feature 60 to 70 students spread over the three shows. The students range from beginners doing cover songs to more seasoned musicians doing original material.
“Some students have come quite far in being able to have their own home studios and create their own background music,” Smith said. “So, it’s a mix of beginners that are playing songs that they’ve been working on for a few months to students that have been with us more than a decade, playing polished songs.
“I think that [mix] is the thing that adds the charm and the entertainment value, seeing the full spectrum of musicians at our concert.”
While excited to be moving on to new opportunities, Smith says hosting the final concerts will be bittersweet.
“I learned as a teacher early on that the measure of success for me was that I would work with people to make musicians and teachers that were ultimately better than I am,” he said. “That was our measure of success, and we’ve been able to do that a number of times.”
Smith said he had a natural feeling of responsibility for the music and the music scene in Morinville.
“It’s not all my responsibility, and there are a lot of young people now that can step in and take the reins,” Smith said. “I believe there are going to be some people that step into the room that I am now leaving and do something even better than Smith Music has been able to do. I’m pretty excited about seeing that develop.”