Paul Smith Hall of Fame Winner 2024

Steven R. Conant grew up in the small farming town of Mansfield, Massachusetts long before the building boom and extension of 495. He attended Mansfield High School and was inspired by his Band Director, Peter Conti to follow a path of becoming a music educator. He attended Berklee College of music and graduated with a dual degree in Arranging and Music Education while moonlighting as a live sound engineer.

Steven began his teaching career as a percussion instructor at Mansfield High School, a position he held until 1998. His first full time teaching assignment was with the North Attleboro schools at the Junior High School. He grew the band program from one band to two bands, started a middle school jazz program and developed an in-school lesson program.His biggest achievement was an appearance at MAJE for the first time in many years for the town.

He looked to the American Band College to gain more insight into becoming the best band director version of himself. Looking to become a full time instrumental teacher, Steven grabbed the opportunity to go to Oliver Ames High School and the Easton Public Schools as a grade 4-12 woodwind specialist, middle school Band Director and high school Band Director. Steven relaunched the marching and Program, continued the jazz program and began to dig into learning the Art of Concert Band direction and instruction. Steven enjoyed many successes in Easton over his five year tenure including but not limited to recognition at MAJE, MICCA and NESBA.

Steven took another leap to Norwood High School in the Summer of 2003. He looked forward to focusing on one age group and took on the challenge of becoming an Orchestra director. This being the largest program he had ever worked with, Steve rolled up his sleeves and got to work. As the leader of the Marching Band, Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble and a second Jazz Ensemble the Norwood students achieved many gold medals, appearances at All State, Symphony Hall, the Hatch Shell to name a few. Some of Steve’s best work may be most noted in the fall as the leader of the Mustang Marching Band as perennial MICCA Gold Medalist, multiple NESBA champions and several appearances on the National stage with USSBA/USBands. It was also during this time period that Steve was encouraged to join the MICCA board as the Assistant Marching Coordinator and eventually becoming the Coordinator in 2006 to present. One of Steve’s greatest joys is providing opportunities for students to perform at festivals by hosting marching, jazz, and concert festivals throughout the school year.

When Steve isn’t teaching in Norwood he is up to one of his many seasonal activities. In the winter he is an avid skier and frequents Vermont chasing the best snow conditions available. In the spring and summer he is an avid cyclist and logs hundreds of miles. He is a Pan Mass Challenge rider and is looking forward to year five with team Vic Firth in August. When school is out he is working on his MG Midget, the house, and caring for two Bernese Mountain Dogs (Brewin’ and Maggie), taking them on adventures in the area and visiting family with his long-time significant other, Kate.

The Massachusetts Instrumental Conductors Association's Paul Smith Hall of Fame Award is presented annually to a Massachusetts music conductor who is a musical and personal inspiration to students, the community and other professional conductors. Admission to the Hall of Fame is limited to two conductors per year.

In presenting this award, the MICCA Executive Board wishes to recognize persons who best represent the high personal, musical, and professional teaching standards of the late Paul Smith, Sr., former Director of Music in the Abington, Massachusetts, Public School System.

The criteria for the award is as follows

  • Have a minimum of ten years as a Massachusetts conductor.
  • Have a variety of conducting experiences
  • Be active in promoting the values of music education both in the local community and throughout the state.
  • Recognize the importance of regular professional growth in the music field.
  • Be a model of professionalism who supports MICCA activities.

MICCA wishes to honor worthy educators with this award and asks fellow music educators to be a part of the process. You are invited to nominate someone who has the qualifications and you feel is deserving.

Nominations will be accepted until December 7th, 2023.

Click here to electronically submit the Paul Smith Hall of Fame Nomination Form.

Click here for a list of the members of The MICCA Paul Smith Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Links
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