Assistant Professor of Percussion
- Doctor of Musical Arts
University of Georgia
Ryan M. Smith is currently Assistant Professor of Percussion at Valdosta State University. Prior to his appointment at VSU, he served on faculty at Georgia College, Toccoa Falls College, and the Georgia Governor's Honors Program. His primary teachers have included Thomas McCutchen and marimba artist She-e Wu, and he has performed in masterclasses with Leigh Howard Stevens, Michael Burritt, She-e Wu, Frederic Macarez, James Ross, percussion group NEXUS, and Alan Abel. Additionally, he has performed with Thomas McCutchen, She-e Wu, Gordon Stout, Chris Deviney, Blake Tyson, and Kevin Bobo. Dr. Smith is the Principal Timpanist with the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, Principal Percussionist for the Albany (GA) Symphony Orchestra, Acting Principal Percussion for the Macon Symphony Orchestra, and performs with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, Carroll Symphony, Ludwig Symphony, and Gwinnett Ballet Theatre. An advocate of new music, he has commissioned works for solo percussion and percussion ensemble and performed concerts of the music of Joan Tower, Charles Wuorinen, Lewis Spratlan, and John Cage, Lou Harrison, and Charles Ives with the Riverside Choral Society at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in NYC. Dr. Smith is a founding member of the Arasmas Percussion Group, a percussion chamber ensemble with a repertoire spanning from the 1930s to the present and has premiered several new works. He was selected as a finalist in the 2005 Percussion Arts Society's Solo Multi-Percussion with Electronic Accompaniment Competition. Dr. Smith performs regularly with saxophonist Stephen Fischer at NASA (North American Saxophone Alliance) regional and national conferences. He is an active member of the Percussive Arts Society, the National Association of Collegiate Wind and Percussion Instructors, and Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society. Dr. Smith holds degrees in Percussion Performance from the University of Georgia and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.