Alex Smith is a musician, scholar, and technologist. He is the Associate Professor of Percussion at the University of Central Missouri, where he also directs and writes for the UCM Marching Percussion Section. Smith received his D.M.A. in Percussion Performance at Michigan State University, where he also received his M.A. in Musicology-Ethnomusicology and M.M. in Percussion Performance. At MSU, Smith studied with Professor Gwen Dease and Dr. Jon Weber. Smith received his B.M. in Percussion Performance from East Carolina University studying with Dr. Jon Wacker and Mr. Chris Nappi.
Smith released his first album, Determined Volumes, of original works and collaborations with pfMENTUM in October of 2020. One of these pieces, 816, received a Vic Firth “Artist Spotlight.” His second album in collaboration with Joe Basile, TrnslcntTkn, was released with Mother Brain Records in May 2022. His Western classical percussion quartet Without Borders performs regularly, including in Taiwan, throughout the United States, as the invited guest artist at the 2020 McCormick Marimba Festival in Tampa, Florida, and for Keiko Abe and her students at Toho Gakuen School of Music in Japan. Their first album was released in March 2023, for which he is also the audio engineer.
As a scholar, Smith has published his peer-reviewed and invited work in International Journal of Music Education, Ecomusicology Review, Perspectives of New Music, Percussive Arts Society Online Research Edition, and UCLA Echo Blog. In 2018-2019, Smith studied for eight months in Ghana with a Fulbright-Hays DDRA Award. In 2008-2009, Smith studied for one year in Recife, Brazil.
In 2005 and 2006 Smith marched with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps and has since instructed marching ensembles at the high school, collegiate, and independent levels such as UCM Marching Percussion, the Michigan State University Drumline, the East Carolina University Drumline, Eastside Fury, Green Hope High School, and Okemos High School.