Brad Smith has joined the Missouri Military Academy family as the new band director. A graduate of Mexico High School, Smith has been serving as the MMA head tennis coach for the last three years, and he now looks forward to seeing cadets during the day while teaching the transformative powers of music.
“After achieving so much success and building great relationships with the cadets, I wanted to truly be a part of the school,” Smith says. “Luckily, the band director position opened up, and now I am able to work and coach for the same school where my passions for music and tennis can be passed onto the cadets.”
A Mexico High School graduate, Smith has been teaching music for the last eight years. He previously worked for the Columbia Independent School from 2015-2016 and the Community R-VI School District from 2016-2023. His journey with music began in elementary school when he took drum set and guitar lessons. While attending Mexico High School, he participated in concert band, jazz band and honor choir. He studied music education at Central Methodist University in Fayette, Missouri, where he was a part of concert band, jazz band, woodwind choir, choir, men’s choir and opera productions.
“Music enhances cadets’ appreciation of the bond between the military and music,” Smith says. “Marching cadences, drum cadences and vocal company cadences, at the end of the day, are all music.”
As an educator, he has taught band, choir, jazz band, drumline, orchestra, guitar and K-5 general music. At MMA, Smith is most looking forward to getting to know the cadets, learning the routines of the Academy and supporting students in their athletic and musical ambitions.
Smith’s teaching style consists of patience and humor, while upholding high expectations for himself and his students. He says he has a firm but fair policy when it comes to classroom management. He wants the band to “reach our deadlines and perform to the best of our ability without sacrificing our love for music.”
The presence of music education in a cadets’ life can have powerful impacts on their future. Smith says the most important lessons the cadets can learn through music are determination and teamwork. “Band is not easy,” he says. “It takes hard work and determination to develop and hone this skill, but you’re also part of a team where every member must do their part.”
Smith’s goal for the school year is to continue to build MMA’s great reputation in academics by building the band into a group that continues to uphold the Academy’s standards of excellence.
“Everyone can perform music,” he says. “All it takes is patience, dedication and finding the instrument that defines your passion. I will be there every step of the way to make that happen.”
In his free time, Smith enjoys going on walks, playing sports, reading books and spending time outside with his wife, MaryRose, 5-year-old son, Elliott, and 17-month-old daughter, Delaney.