Rob Smith (not to be confused with the Jerry Bruckheimer/George W. Bush/most famous mustache of the band world, Robert W. Smith) blends modernism and American pop and jazz idioms in his energetic music. His work is widely recorded and frequently performed throughout the United States and abroad, and his music has won several awards. He is currently an Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music.
Rob Smith has his very own web domain, robsmithcomposer.com, with much information about himself and his music.
Beacon Fires was a prize-winning runner-up in the 2010 Columbia Summer Winds Outdoor Composition Contest. Smith says the following of his piece:
Beacon Fires was commissioned by Mark Hartman and the Crane Youth Music Wind Ensemble, directed by Brian K. Doyle, for a premiere performance during their 37th season. The work was written in honor of the program’s first three directors, Roy Schaberg, Scott LaVine and Mark Hartman. The title refers to fires that can be seen from a great distance because of their high vantage point – usually a hill or tower. This seems a fitting metaphor for these directors who have served as important role models for our youth. The first movement, Ignite, is dedicated to Roy Schaberg and features Schaberg’s instrument, the horn. Glow, the second movement, is dedicated to Scott LaVine and features the woodwinds and the harp. The third movement, Blaze is dedicated to Mark Hartman and features the trombone, Hartman’s instrument, and the low brass.
Listen to Beacon Fires here. Or listen to the Columbia Wind Ensemble doing it on October 23, 2011: