Edward R. Smith's Music Career (1979-1984)
Along with other academic, church and athletic activities, as a boy in Flora, IL, Edward Reaugh Smith took piano lessons from a local teacher from ages 7 to 17. There was no music theory training, per se, just playing from the notes. For instance, he couldn't identify any scale other than C Major and consequently could name no chord.
In early 1979, in addition to running the Boston Marathon (April 16, 1979, click here for picture), he started taking music theory training one afternoon a week in the office of Harold Luce, the head of the music department at Texas Tech University, learning the equivalent of first year theory. Then in November, 1979, Smith started back on keyboard training (at age 47) with Dr. William Westney on the TTU faculty.
The dedication concert (Beethoven's 3rd Piano Concerto) was on March 23, 1982 (click here for picture). This concert was given to dedicate a Steinway concert grand piano given by Edward and Jo Anne Smith to TTU. The 1981 recital series was given four times in his living room before personal friends in order to get used to playing in public again. His skill and understanding in concert performance increased regularly during the study period up through 1984. Unfortunately, the concerto was early in this period. He has a studio recordings of all these recital series, and one can tell the progress made from these, but these were not "live" performances, and there is a big difference between studio and live recordings. The concerto is "live"—so it reveals all the glitches.
Never having performed with either an orchestra or ensemble, he had the opportunity to practice with the orchestra only the night before the concert, and then they went through it only once, except for the slow middle moment, which they did twice.
There was a dedication program (Jo Anne participating) of twelve to fourteen minutes before the concert. The otherwise unnamed MC for it was Dr. Harold Luce, head of TTU's music department (Smith's theory teacher). Smith's nervousness showed in the fact when he set a faster tempo than the orchestra through the initial statement of the 1st movement, but then settled down and things went more musically thereafter. The encore is Debussy's, "Reflections in the Water."
The demands of this training and performance were such that he has played no more since April 24, 1984. But the memories are rich.
WHEREAS, Edward R. Smith and Jo Anne M. Smith have been for almost a quarter of a century, leading contributors to excellence in the quality of life in the City of Lubbock; and
WHEREAS, Edward Smith has demonstrated his outstanding professional abilities as a member of the firm of Smith, Baker, Field & Clifford Incorporated, as an attorney, certified public accountant, and as a businessman; and
WHEREAS, Edward Smith served with honor in the United States Army, has taken in political life the deep personal interest required of citizens living in a democracy, and has faithfully served his community and his church in numerous ways in order that they might better mankind; and
WHEREAS, Edward R. Smith and Jo Anne M. Smith have reared three children that they might cherish the highest ideals of citizenship and community service; and
WHEREAS, Edward Smith has been a member and chairman of both the Texas Tech University Foundation and the Texas Tech University Medical School Foundation, providing outstanding leadership and giving generously of both himself and his resources; and
WHEREAS, he has shared his expertise and knowledge with others through the written and spoken word and shared particularly his knowledge of complex tax matters for the benefits of others; and
WHEREAS, Edward Smith has demonstrated his broad awareness of the well-rounded life by developing his athletic abilities in several sports, most recently in the sport and art of running, which made possible his participation in the Boston Marathon; and
WHEREAS, Edward R. Smith has recently resumed his deep interest in music, furthering his study of piano as a student of Dr. William Westney, and developing his talent and skill in performance to the concert level; and
WHEREAS, he has insured that others—students, faculty and audiences—will for many years to come be able to share in his enthusiasm for fine music through his generous gift of a Steinway concert grand piano for use in the Texas Tech University Department of Music;
NOW BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the Texas Tech University Foundation recognizes and salutes Edward R. and Jo Anne M. Smith and acknowledges their contributions as citizens, as educators and as examples to young people everywhere;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution be spread upon the record of the Texas Tech University Foundation and a copy be delivered to Edward R. and Jo Anne M. Smith.
Tech University Foundation