Nice to meet you: Matthew Smith

Q: What is your favorite part about Castleton?
A: “The community aspect amongst the faculty and the students. The way that the students have a relationship with each other and the faculty/student relationship is something that I find very unique, here at Castleton.”
Q: What is your goal here?
A:  “To build a program that is one of the best small college bands in the country.”
Q: What are your thoughts about the music department here?
A: “I think it’s a strong department with good faculty and I think it always has room for improvement and growth and I think that the larger we get the more that that growth is going to happen.”
Q: Think back a year ago, where did you think you would be by this time now?
A: “One year ago, I was writing the topic for my dissertation. So job hunting was no anywhere near my outlook at that point. Did I think I would have a job in a year? Probably! Did I know where, when, why, or how? Absolutely no. Am I happy I found Castleton? Yes.”
Q: What’s your favorite part about your job?
A: “Making music everyday.”
Q: What’s your lifelong dream?
A: “Ask me in five year, haven’t gotten that far yet.”
Q: What’s your hobby outside of work?
A: “I’m an avid bowler and I like to ski.”
Q: Where are you from?
A: “I was born in Buffalo, New York then I kept moving around. I’ve moved nine times. I’ve lived in Kansas City, Kansas; Dallas, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia. Went to my undergraduate at the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. Taught for three years in Charlotte, North Carolina. Did my masters at Morgan Town, West Virginia at West Virginia University. Did three years of my doctorate at the University of Connecticut and now I’m here.”
Q: Who inspires you the most?
A: “My parents would be the first inspiration, everyday. My second would be my conducting teacher from UConn. My third biggest inspiration would be my former director of bands.”
Q: What instruments do you play?
A: “I’m a French horn player by trade, I play a little trumpet, but guitar would be my next big instrument.”  
Q: Why did you pick up these instruments?
A: “Guitar was just something that I thought was kind of cool and it was a requirement for the music degree.”
Q: Why did you choose music?
A: “I quit band in 8th grade when I was moving to Georgia. My band director saw me while when I was registering for classes and said “You should be in band. You should stay in this.” Since then he had mentored me into going into a music degree. I’m in music because my band director in high school decided that music needed to be part of my life and because of him it’s where I am.”
Q: How would you convince non-music majors to take a music course?
A: “It’s part of your requirements is one answer. Another answer would be if it’s something you enjoy then why not try to experience it?”

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