In the Loop
Alumni News : May 18, 2017

Outstanding Young Alumni update: Patrick Smith

By Samantha Brown

In his hometown, Patrick Smith found his enduring passion for music in the corridors at the University of Florida’s School of Music.  

Throughout his undergraduate and doctoral years at the University of Florida, Smith credited the mentorship and tutelage he received that ignited his career.

In 2005, Smith was hired to teach in the music department at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). As an assistant professor of music, Smith teaches courses in music history and horn, which are reminiscent of his UF education.

Smith said he fondly remembers playing horn on Saturday gamedays with the UF Marching Band, and his chance encounter with Coach Steve Spurrier, composing and recording his own music and his teachers who motivated their students to always produce their best work.

When Smith finished his undergraduate and master's degrees and was accepted into the doctoral program, he continued his work with his “devotees” in the music department, and taught music appreciation courses. In his spare time, he performed with other horn musicians as part of a quartet.

In 2011, Smith was awarded tenure with a promotion from VCU and more recently, in January 2017, he recorded an album, “Reflections”, based on the compositional works of his UF mentor Paul Basler.

This summer, Smith will be joining David Waybright of UF and the Florida Chamber Winds on their tour to Europe for the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE).

Smith attributed his career to his UF education and cites “the life-changing moment,” during one of his first practices in which, his professor [Bruce Atwell], stopped [him] after about 20 seconds into his rehearsal. Atwell gave Smith a pep talk about the expectations of a music education major and challenged Smith to work harder. From that moment, Smith, “made the choice to invest fully in his training,” he said.

In addition to teaching, Smith excels as a part-time musician in the Richmond Symphony and published his book “Julius Watkins and the Evolution of the Jazz Horn French Genre.”

Overall, Smith said the most important advice he received while at UF has stayed true throughout professional career: 1) Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work as hard., and 2) If you are working hard on something you care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.

Patrick Smith has two children with his wife, Kristin, who he played horn with at UF.

Learn more about Patrick Smith's Horn Studio here.