Smith, Major N. Clark
Smith was born in Leavenworth, Kansas. He attended the Army Service School and was a soldier and professional musician by the age of sixteen.
Smith taught at five different institutions, including the Tuskegee Institute, Western University in Kansas City, Kansas, Lincoln High School, Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago and Sumner High School in St. Louis. Smith was known as a strict, disciplinarian. In an interview with Ross Russell, Harlan Leonard recalled that Major Smith:
was short, gruff, military in bearing, wore glasses and was never without his full uniform and decorations. His language was rather rough and occasionally shocking to the few young ladies who were taking music classes, though never offensive.Smith won a Wanamaker prize in 1930 for his composition "Negro Folk Suite" which was performed by the St. Louis Symphony, January 11, 1933.
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