Matthew O. Smith

Associate Director, Bands
Director, Marching Jayhawks
Primary office:
785-864-3367
124 D Murphy Hall


D.M.A. Michigan State University; M.M.E. University of Michigan; B.S. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Dr. Matthew O. Smith is Associate Director of Bands at the University of Kansas, where he conducts the Symphonic Band, the Marching Jayhawks, and teaches in the School of Music. He is also the director of the nationally renowned Midwestern Music Camps held at KU. He has held similar positions in the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, Iowa State University, Baylor University, and the University of Michigan.

Raised in Fairfax, Virginia, Smith received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After teaching in the Maryland public schools, he completed a master's degree in music education from the University of Michigan. He completed his Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting from Michigan State University. Smith’s doctoral research focused on the on the early works of composer Joel Puckett, and he has also worked with composers Libby Larsen and Michael Torke, among others.  Additional interests include conducting pedagogy and instrumental music education, and Smith also serves as co-music director of the Lawrence Community Orchestra.

Smith is in frequent demand as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator, and has presented clinics and research in the United States and Germany. He has been published in The Instrumentalist, the Journal of Band Research, and the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series. His professional affiliations include the College Band Directors National Association, the National Association for Music Education, Kansas Bandmasters Association, and the Kansas Music Educators Association. He also holds membership in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.


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Music students present hundreds of public concerts every year
Students perform in KU choirs, concert bands, pep bands, ensembles, symphony orchestra, and jazz combos
The school owns one of the greatest jazz record collections in the world
KU Wind Ensemble performed the world premiere of the symphony "In the Shadow of No Towers" at Carnegie Hall
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually