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Contact Info

MCC-Penn Valley Music Department
3201 Southwest Trafficway,
Kansas City, Mo., 64111-22764

Department Coordinator:
Clarence Smith
Science/Technology, room 002-A
Phone: 816.604.4456

Clarence Smith

Office: Science/Technology 001
Phone: 816.604.4456

Clarence Smith is a Kansas City-based professional musician and music educator. He is coordinator/instructor of music at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley campus, with specific expertise in jazz education, percussion, and music appreciation. Smith is a frequent guest director of honors jazz ensembles, and is in demand as a jazz/percussion clinician and adjudicator. He is director of the annual three-day 18th and Vine Jazz Festival.

As a drummer, Smith is an active participant in the Kansas City music scene where he can be heard performing in a variety of genres including jazz, classical, musical theatre, and R&B and other pop styles. He co-leads the JLove band, a popular R&B/Jazz group, and serves as percussionist for groups including the Toni Gates Ensemble and the Chris Burnett Quartet.

Prior to his appointment at MCC, Smith taught band in the Marshall, Mo., public schools and at the Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts High School in the Kansas City, Mo. School district. His Paseo jazz bands won many regional and national jazz competitions, and were invited to perform at the Smithsonian Institute and at the Kennedy Center. Some of Smith’s former students are among the new generation of acclaimed musicians who are influencing the future of jazz.

In 2000, Smith was named “High School Jazz Educator of the Year” by Downbeat Magazine, and in 2003 he was selected as a Music Fellow at Northwestern University’s School of Music. He was the recipient of the first Ahmad Alaadeen Award for Excellence in Jazz Education in 2010.

Smith is a past director of Kansas City Youth Jazz and Metropolitan Jazz Workshop, and is on the faculty of the American Jazz Museum’s Jazz Academy.

Smith is a past adjunct professor of percussion for Central Methodist University in Fayette, Mo., and Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo. He holds a B.A. in music education from Central Methodist University, and a master's degree in arts education from Lesley University, Boston.

Samuel Beckett - Theory, Piano

Tony Fishback - Voice, Piano, Voice Class, Piano Class

Ben Hooper - Guitar, Strings, Guitar Class

Christopher Burnett - Woodwinds

Jason Goudeau - Trombones

Dustin Mott - Percussion

Last Modified: 6/1/18