D. Jason Smith
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D. Jason Smith

Band Rock Adult Contemporary


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The best kept secret in music


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From song writing demo: "Drain," "All I Need Is You," "Indigo Skies," "Show Me Yours," "Crossroads,"
From performance: "Seed of Doubt," String Quartet No. 1, Spectrum, "Thread of Life," Scattered Thoughts


Feeling a bit camera shy


I grew up in the small town of Hurricane, WV. There I was exposed to the bluegrass my grandfather and his friends played, the classic rock from the radio and classical music played by the West Virginia Symphony, so my earliest influences were Elmer Byrd the banjo man from Turkey Creek, Led Zeppelin, and Beethoven.

The local college was Marshall University in Huntington, WV where I eventually ended up majoring in music composition. Then it was on to Ball State University in Muncie, IN for my masters in composition. Currently, I'm finishing up my doctorate in music theory and composition. In my many years in school I've learned composition, orchestration, form, atonal theory, texture, timbre and to play many instruments. Through it all though, I kept writing rock songs. I'd experiment with sound and style and genre like I would instruments in an orchestra. Then, I'd file them away. Rock songs aren't really accepted in the academic world.

Then in fall of 2004, it finally hit me. Why should I limit myself to just one type of music? Classicalists don't do rock and rockers don't do classical is a rule that is imposed upon me. It's not what I do. It's not what I feel, so I set out to change things.

In the spring of 2005, I put on a show of my music, "He Who Is Me." I alternated "art music" with "pop music" because both are "my music." I had rock songs, a song for mezzo soprano and two classical guitars, a percussion ensemble with dancers, computer music, and a string quartet. While not well attended, it was well received.

It was that small success that continues to drive what I do.