Interview with BFUHS’s New Choral Director

Kathleen Dole, Staff Writer

This year, BFUHS has been lucky enough to welcome a new addition to the faculty. Richard Smith has taken on the position of choral instructor for Bellows Falls.

Richard was born in Salt Lake City Utah and came to Vermont in 2015. He discovered his love of music at a young age, knowing at only age twelve that his chosen career path would be musical. Although he didn’t begin learning to play the piano until age fourteen, being a “late bloomer” didn’t stop Richard from accomplishing a great deal in his musical career.

Richard has received a great deal of musical education. He has a piano performance degree from USC (that’s the University of Southern California!), a musical education degree from the University of Utah, and a masters degree in musical education and choral instructing from Boston University.  Richard continues to pursue his musical education, and is currently working towards his doctorate degree from Boston University. His love of music is evident in his desire to learn more and constantly improve.

Before coming to our school, Richard worked in several other jobs, mainly in teaching positions. He began by giving piano lessons at a private school, Realms of Inquiry in Park City, Utah. He then went on to teach at East High School, which was at the time serving as a set for the movie High School Musical. During his time at East High, Richard aided the production of the movie and became the chorus teacher for the school.  After East High, Richard transitioned to a position in his own high school in West Valley City Utah. Then, after coming to Vermont, Richard taught at VA before finally coming to work at BFUHS.

So far, Richard is seeing continual growth in the BFUHS chorus, in regards to both numbers and skill.  He hopes that he leaves the students he impacts with a love of music, regardless of talent or skill. “What I hope people would come away from is just a love of music.” Richard wants his students to know how much fun music can be, and be exposed to the experience.  “They can come down here with and Mr. Pelton and I, and find that music can be fun.” His plans for the future of the music program include adding a piano lab as well as a song-writing class. 

BFUHS will undoubtedly benefit from gaining a new choral instructor who has so much experience and enthusiasm. Richard’s love of music, his skill, and his ideas and goals are sure to bring the BFUHS music program to the next level.