Dr. Coleman Smith’s career as a music educator in Oklahoma spanned nearly four decades. After graduating with a B.M.E. from Oklahoma A&M College in 1949, Smith worked as a high school music teacher and choral conductor for twelve years. He joined the faculty at Central State College in 1961. Smith organized multiple singing groups at Central, including the Men’s Glee Club and the Old North Belles Sextet. He also formed the Central Tunesmiths, a song and dance group that represented the school at various special events throughout Oklahoma. In addition to directing and arranging music for the Tunesmiths and other performance groups, Smith taught various music courses, including choral arranging, choral conducting, choir, and vocal music. Smith retired from Central in 1987. Following retirement, Smith continued to adjudicate music competitions and arrange and compose music, including an original musical entitled “The First Territorial Saloon.” Smith also accompanied and arranged music for the First Family Singers at First Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. Dr. Smith passed away on March 30, 2012, but his legacy lives on through his music and the inestimable impact he made on his students, many of whom went on to become music educators. As a testament to his lasting contributions to the institution, Dr. Smith was inducted into the inaugural class of the “Luminary Society” at the University of Central Oklahoma in 2015.
Scope and Content
This collection includes Coleman Smith’s music charts and related materials. The accession number for this collection is 1609001. The charts include pieces composed or arranged by Smith, as well as copies of published arrangements from other sources. Some of Smith’s scores are handwritten, or are photocopies of handwritten scores. Others are printed copies. The pieces are from a variety of genres, including blues, popular music, jazz, sacred and gospel, show tunes, holiday music, and folk. The collection also includes the scripts and music charts for Smith’s original musical, “The First Territorial Saloon.” In addition, the collection features Smith’s correspondence with potential music publishers, as well as copies of the copyright registrations for some of his pieces. Most of the collection is roughly arranged alphabetically by title.
The materials were given to the UCO Archives & Special Collections on September 30, 2016 by Michael Plunkett on behalf of Cathie Denton, Coleman Smith’s daughter.
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