Moddie Smith was born in Luling, Texas, in 1927. He attended Brackenridge High School in San Antonio, graduating in 1945. He entered North Texas State in 1945 and played in the "Aces of Collegeland" dance band. He was called to active military duty, serving in the Air Force during the Korean conflict. He was fortunate to become a member of the 18th Air Force Band. Upon completion of his service, he returned to San Antonio, and with the encouragement of Frank Sturchio, entered St. Mary's University with a full scholarship. He graduated Cum Laude from St. Mary's with a BME degree in 1956 and was honored by being named to Delta Epsilon Sigma, National Honor Society of American Catholic Colleges and Universities in America. In 1975, he received his MME degree from Southwest Texas State University.
Mr. Smith's teaching career included positions at Lytle High School, Kenedy High School, Karnes City High School, Kerrville Tivy High School, Thomas Jefferson in San Antonio, Roosevelt High School in San Antonio, San Marcos High School, Temple Junior College, Cole High School in San Antonio and Kirby Junior High in the Judson School District. His bands earned 13 Sweepstakes awards during his career.
Mr. Smith says, "I enjoyed an unusual year in 1964. The Tivy Band earned straight I's in Marching, Concert and Sight-reading, plus straight I's and the Outstanding Award for the stage band. With 28 Solos and Ensembles all playing from the Grade I List, all were awarded a Division I Rating. This was truly a SWEEPSTAKES YEAR!! What makes this even more memorable was the fact that there was no assistant director or private teacher program."
Mr. Smith performed with professional touring shows at the Majestic Theatre, Hemisfair shows, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Les and Larry Elgart Orchestra, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. During his career, he adjudicated UIL contests in numerous regions and was a guest clinician for region concerts and summer camps.
Upon retirement in 1985, Mr. Smith established "Moddie's Horn Shop", a woodwind instrument repair service that was in operation until 1994. In 1994, Mr. Smith and Evelyn moved to Canyon Lake to "enjoy the beautiful white-tailed deer and the more peaceful side of life." He and Evelyn still actively perform in the Comal Community Band which toured Germany in 1996. They feel there are "still more notes to be played" before it's time to put their horns down.
All of his family, standing here with him today, are fine musicians, of whom he is so very proud. His wife, Evelyn, is a retired band director, His daughter, April Myers, consistently places her French horn students in the All State Bands. His son, Steve, is a retired band director and a professional percussionist.
Mr. Smith wishes to thank Mr. Eddie Galvan for submitting his name for this award. "Thank you, my brother!!" He is deeply touched and appreciative of being considered for this honor.
Mr. Smith passed away in September of 2015.