Conductors

Dr. Ryan Smith

Dr. Ryan S. Smith serves as the Director of Bands and an Associate Professor of Music at Lubbock Christian University where he teaches courses within the music education curriculum, conducts the Symphonic Band, directs the Big Blue Basketball Band, and administers all facets of the LCU Band program.

Smith holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting from Texas Tech University where he was a student of Dr. Sarah McKoin. He also holds a Master of Music with emphasis in Wind Conducting and a Bachelor of Music Education from Stephen F. Austin State University with Texas State Board of Education Certification in All-Level Music under Prof. Fred J. Allen.

Prior to his appointment at Lubbock Christian University, Dr. Smith proudly served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant with the Texas Tech University Department of Bands assisting with the Goin’ Band from Raiderland, Court Jesters, all four performing band ensembles, and undergraduate conducting courses. Previously, he served on the faculty of Lamar University as Director of Athletic Bands and Instructor of Music. During his time at Lamar, Mr. Smith directed the “Showcase of Southeast Texas” marching band and LU Pep Band, and taught courses in music theory, music education, and instruction of the tuba and euphonium studio. Dr. Smith’s public school experience includes teaching at the high school and junior high level in Klein, Katy, and Nacogdoches, Texas. His ensembles have performed at state and regional venues, and he maintains an active schedule as a clinician and adjudicator.

Some of Dr. Smith’s professional memberships include Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (honorary), Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, College Band Directors National Association, Texas Music Educators Association, and the Texas Bandmasters Associations.

Dr. Blair Williams

Dr. Blair Williams (PhD, The Ohio State University, MM, Kansas State University, BME, Baylor University) is an Assistant Professor of String Music Education in the School of Music at Texas Tech University. Her duties at Texas Tech include supervising string student teachers, teaching courses in string music education, instruction in instrumental/orchestral conducting, and directing the Texas Tech University String Project.

During the summers, Dr. Williams is active with the TTU Summer Master of Music Education program, the TTU Band and Orchestra Camp Academy for beginning students, and the TTU Band and Orchestra Camp.

Additionally, she serves on the editorial board for American String Teacher, on the National String Project Consortium Board, on the ASTA Collegiate Committee, as a Member-at-Large for NAfME-Texas, as the TMEA Region 16 College Chair, and as an advisor to the Epsilon Pi chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon and the TTU Student Chapter of the American String Teachers Association.

Dr. Williams has presented clinics regionally and nationally including invited sessions at the National Association for Music Education National In-Service Conference, the annual American String Teachers Association conference, the Ohio State String Teacher Workshop, Texas Music Educators Association, and Colorado Music Educators Association. Her research interests include: rural string music education, music teacher education, secondary music teaching, and viola. She has been published in The American String Teacher and SmartMusic.

Additional conducting engagements have included: youth, regional, and all-city ensembles in Kansas, Texas, Ohio, and Oregon; Graduate Conductor/Section Coach-Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestras, Chamber Strings; Graduate Conductor-Kansas State Orchestra; Assistant Director/Administrator of the Gold Orchestra (Manhattan, KS) including an invited performance at The Midwest Clinic in 2010; and Associate Director/String Coordinator of the Waco Symphony Youth Orchestra.

After earning her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Baylor, Dr. Williams served as Director of Orchestras and the Associate Director of Orchestras in Midway ISD, Waco, TX teaching grades 5-12. While teaching in Texas, Dr. Williams’ ensembles (string and full) consistently received superior ratings and sweepstakes awards at UIL Solo and Ensemble, UIL Large Group Contest, and other festivals. In 2009, she founded the Midway High School chapter of Texas Future Music Educators with 20 students. Dr. Williams also continues to enjoy working with public school students as a guest adjudicator, clinician, and conductor.

She is a member of ASTA, NAfME, TMEA, Pi Kappa Lambda, CMS, and Mu Phi Epsilon.