Aaron Smith


Master of Music – Rice University – Shepherd School of Music

Bachelor of Music – Indiana University – Jacobs School of Music

Aaron Smith was appointed Principal Percussionist with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in the Fall of 2022. Formerly, he was the Principal Percussionist with the Boise Philharmonic and a Section Percussionist with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. During the summer of 2022, Aaron was a member of the percussion section of the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado. 

Outside of orchestral performance, Aaron has had innumerable experiences in smaller ensembles such as percussion ensemble, brass choir, Brazilian samba battery, Afro-Cuban folkloric ensemble, and various small sinfoniettas. These experiences have even given him the opportunity to premiere new works, such as Theo Chandler’s Oboe Concerto (supported by the Presser Foundation and premiered at Rice University), David Jones’s Po-Um (Lyric) for Solo Marimba (commissioned by the Moody Center for the Arts), Kevin Bobo’s Domestic Birds, and Brian Blume’s Under the INfluence (the latter two of these works were premiered at Indiana University’s Percussion Showcase Concert at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention).

Not limited to only performing, Aaron is an active and passionate educator. He has been teaching privately since he was in high school, and has held positions in multiple schools around Indiana and Texas. Currently, he is the Percussion Instructor for the University of New Orleans. Formerly, he was the Percussion Director for St. Thomas High School in Houston, Texas. While at St. Thomas, he taught privately, oversaw the drumline and percussion ensemble, and composed and arranged music for both of these ensembles. Aaron has also been a guest clinician at various high schools and universities around the country.

Aaron received his Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he primarily studied with John Tafoya and Kevin Bobo. While at IU, he was also awarded the prestigious Performer’s Certificate for an exemplary senior recital. He received his Master of Music in Percussion Performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where he studied with Matthew Strauss.

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