Meet the Conductors

J Smith Photo Jeffrey Smith – Music Director and Conductor

Jeffrey Smith earned his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Music Education from Western Connecticut    State University, with numerous additional graduate credits from University of Bridgeport, Massachusetts College, New England College, and Fitchburg State University.  Mr. Smith taught in Norwalk, CT Public Schools for thirty–five years, where he served as Chairperson of Music and Art at Norwalk High School.  Mr. Smith also taught at Western Connecticut State University, conducted the Darien (CT) Community Band, conducted the Strafford Band at this summer’s University of New Hampshire’s SYMS, and is currently University of New Hampshire Wildcat Marching Band drill designer.

During his tenure as a music educator, Mr. Smith received numerous awards including Norwalk High School Alumni Association Wall of Honor Recipient, twice Connecticut Secondary Music Educator of the Year (1991 and 2010), CMEA Student Affairs Commission Award; Western Connecticut State University Alumni Band Director of the Year, Norwalk High School Wall of Fame, and more.  His Norwalk High School performing groups consistently received superior ratings on the nationally competitive level.

Mr. Smith is a member of the many national music educator associations including the National Association for Music Education.  He served as Connecticut Music Educators Association’s Western Region Director, Student Affairs Commission Chairperson, and President.  Mr. Smith regularly guest conducts on the middle and high school levels.  He serves as Judge Coordinator for Musical Arts Conference and as clinician for Cavalcade of Bands, CMEA, and Musical Arts Conference.  Mr. Smith is an active music arranger and marching band drill and visual designer.

Mr. Smith plays clarinet and Eb clarinet in Strafford Wind Symphony as well as several other area ensembles.


 Robert Burns – Assistant Conductor

Robert Burns has served as Director of Music at Kingswood Regional High School since 2011. Before that he was Music Director at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook, New Hampshire from 2009-2011. Mr. Burns is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education in 2008. He earned his Master of Education in Music Education from Plymouth State University in 2016. As director of Music at Kingswood Regional High School, Mr. Burns is responsible for the full band program as well as the choral program, jazz band, marching band, music director of the fall musical, Guitar methods I-IV, music theory, American music history and World Music.

Mr. Burns is also active in professional associations such as the New Hampshire Music Educator Association, where he serves as Chair of the Band Committee. He has served as Band Manager and is currently Jazz Band Manager for the Lakes Region Music Festival over the past ten years. During the summer months, he conducts the Cate Park Community Band, performing weekly for audiences in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. He also serves on the board for the Friends of the Wolfeboro Community Bandstand, where he is responsible for booking the Saturday Evening concert series.

Mr. Burns is thrilled to be welcomed into this community of musicians. He plays clarinet in Strafford Wind Symphony, as well as saxophone in his own instrumental jazz group.