A Kentucky State University professor will take his fifth trip to Brazil to further his education as a music educator. During that time, a Kentucky State legend will return to lead the concert choir during his third tenure at the school.
Dr. Carl H. Smith, whose name adorns the University’s largest auditorium, began his tenure at Kentucky State in 1958. According to the Notable Kentucky African-Americans Database, Smith is known in Kentucky and throughout the United States for his music instruction and choral music. Smith retired after 51 years of teaching in 2009.
Smith helped Kentucky State University build a long and distinguished legacy of award-winning performance ensembles, as well as develop and train leaders in the fields of musical performance and music education. Under his tutelage have blossomed alumni Grammy-nominated musicians and performers who maintain distinguished national and international careers.
Smith’s proficiency has earned him four National Choral Championships, the Kentucky Choral Directors Association Robert Baar Choral Excellence Award, and the Kentucky State University Distinguished Professor of the Year Award. In 2009, Smith was chosen as the lead conductor of the 105 Voices of History Choir at the Historically Black Colleges and Universities National Concert, held at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
With Smith’s experience and leadership, the concert choir looks to rebuild and expand.
Dr. Keith McCutchen, director of choral activities at Kentucky State University, said over the past four years he’s made three trips to Brazil. Two of those were to Curitiba and this past summer he visited Sao Paulo.
“These visits have included concerts and master classes with professional organizations, colleges, community groups, music teachers and church directors,” McCutchen said. “In each, I’ve been allowed to compose original works, as well as offer programming of various genres.”
The Cantoritiba Choral Festival is part of this trip’s agenda.
“This will be my first time adjudicating this international choral festival,” McCutchen said. “There will be approximately 50 choirs from all over South America and beyond.”
Also on the agenda include residency and concerts with Ottava Bassa, a men’s chorus, a workshop at the University of São Paulo, performance in the Guri Santa Marchelina 80 Voice concert and the Camerata Antiqua de Curitiba.
McCutchen departs Oct. 26 and returns Nov. 25.