AARON T. SMITH has been active as a freelance percussionist in Southern California since the early 1990s. During that time he has performed with many of the area’s leading orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, L.A. Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, New West Symphony and the Santa Barbara Symphony. He served one year as the principal timpanist of the New Mexico Symphony. When the Los Angeles Philharmonic was without a regular timpanist, Mr. Smith served as a substitute in subscription concerts, family concerts, new music concerts and in performances at the Hollywood Bowl during the 2007-2008 season.
Since 1996, Mr. Smith has served as Principal Timpanist and Percussionist with the Chamber Orchestra of Saint Matthew’s in the Pacific Palisades, where he has performed twice as a concerto soloist. The orchestra regularly commissions new works, and Aaron was pleased to be part of a recording with the orchestra of some of those works which was released in 2013.
In addition to playing the Western, orchestral percussion instruments, Mr. Smith has been a long-time student of the frame drum, specifically the Arabic tambourine known as riq. In 2010 Aaron performed on stage in a solo role for riq in the world premiere of Daniel Catán’s Il Postino, with the Los Angeles Opera.
Mr. Smith is on the faculty of California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and Loyola Marymount University; he maintains a private teaching studio in West LA, and serves as a clinician and adjudicator. Mr. Smith attended the University of California at Los Angeles (BA, MFA). His primary teachers were Mitchell Peters, Principal Timpanist (ret.) and Raynor Carroll, Principal Percussioni