and Music Director
Music director Steven Smith has led the Olathe Community Orchestra since 1985. Steven holds a master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois, and a bachelor’s in music education from Washburn University of Topeka. He has participated in master classes at the Conductors’ Guild Summer Institute at the University of West Virginia, the Blomstedt Conducting Workshop at Loma Linda University in Riverside, California, and the Escuela de Perfeccionamiento “Vida y Movimiento” in Mexico City, Mexico.
Steven has appeared as guest conductor for the Mexico City Philharmonic, the Topeka Symphony, the Overland Park Orchestra, the Kansas City Civic Orchestra, and the Kansas City and Topeka Youth Symphonies. Steven was assistant conductor and section violist for the Orquesta Mexicana de la Juventud in Mexico City in 1982. Steven has served as conductor for thirty-seven summer musicals at Shawnee Mission Theater-in-the-Park, earning their Founders’ Award in 1997, and he has also been conductor for numerous academic productions. Steven founded and conducted the Overland Park Chamber Orchestra during summers 1990-94.
Steven was director of orchestras and instructor of music theory at Paseo Academy, Kansas City’s high school for the performing arts, from 1987 to 2011. Frequently engaged as a clinician, Steven has worked with the Heart of America Suzuki Association, the Kansas City Music Teachers’ Association, the Northeast Kansas Music Educators’ Association, and the Kansas City and Olathe Kansas public schools, and he has also presented numerous workshops in conducting, orchestra, and chamber music. Steven has been a private instructor of strings and woodwinds for more than 40 years, working at studios in Topeka, Shawnee, Lenexa, and Olathe Kansas, and he currently maintains a studio of violin and viola students at Metropolitan Conservatory in Olathe.
Steven appears frequently around the greater Kansas City area as a string and/or reed player, arranger, and vocalist, performing with various groups playing in diverse styles. He played saxophone with the Kansas City Chiefs TD Pack Band from 1995 to 1997. Currently, Steven performs with the Silverwood Ensembles (classical), AnnaLee and the Lucky So ‘n’ Sos (swing and jump blues), and Der Alpen Spielers (polka), and he makes many freelance appearances as well. Steven is founder, leader, and instrumentalist for two early 20th-Century ensembles, the Sunflower Ragtime Orchestra and the Radio Days Orchestra.
Steven lives in Olathe with his wife, flutist Emily Smith. They have one adult son, Gregory.