Congratulations to Herb Smith, the recipient of RCTV’s 2014 Black Achievement Music Award.
In addition to being the third trumpet in the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Herb is also the leader of a jazz quartet, a trumpet instructor at the Eastman School of Music, a music teaching artist, music arranger and a composer. Herb graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 1991, and prior to joining the RPO in the position of third trumpet, he played with the Cincinnati Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, the Chautauqua Symphony, Skaneateles Summer Festival Orchestra, and the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra. He recently released a CD called The Trumpet Shall Sound.
This is the fourth year RCTV has given the Black Achievement Music Award, and it was instituted to recognize Rochester-based musicians for their musical excellence as well as their community contributions.
In addition to his fine musicianship, Herb is known for the way he mentors and guides his students.
When Rick Osborne, RCTV’s Programming Manager announced the award, he spoke about his first encounter with Herb many years back.
“My daughters study at Eastman, and one of the things I noticed about Herb is that he is always there for his students. While other teachers might have substitutes step in, Herb is always there to personally give the lessons.”
This past weekend, Herb was also involved with the Stop the Violence Dance Alliance Program initiated by Garth Fagan Dance.
The award was presented as part of RCTV’s Evening of Jazz in Celebration of Black Music Month on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at the Visual Studies Workshop. When Herb was invited to the stage to receive the award, he shared, “This is the first time I’ve received an award like this, and I’m very honored.”
Following the award ceremony, Herb joined saxophonist Jimmie Highsmith Jr. and his band onstage to jam with the band, adding his hot trumpet licks to Jimmie’s cool jazz sound for an experience attendees will long remember.
Prior RCTV Black Achievement Music Award recipients include Timothy Mitchell in 2011, The Campbell Brothers in 2012, and Jimmie Highsmith Jr. in 2013.