When he arrived at AHS, Mr. Smith was quite a change from Mr. Muschek. So young and with new ideas.
Although I left AHS after freshman year in 1962, I enjoyed being part of AHS' music programs, including recording two music albums (recorded in the auditorium) - in 1961 as part of the band accompanying the choir and in 1962 as part of the choir (see 1961 album cover photo with the young Mr. Smith, attached). I still trot out those albums to delight and amaze folks who might share my wonder that, even at that early point in his career, he pulled this together with high school musicians. I continued to be impressed at the things my classmates and subsequent students achieved with Mr. Smith's guidance and inspiration.
He also recognized that I was upset leaving AHS just as I was to start senior high, so he wrote in my yearbook that "any school would be proud to have you as a member" - words of both solace and encouragement that helped me make the transition.
After leaving AHS, and building on the foundation he helped to provide, I was able to participate in district level choir two high schools later in my senior year in PA.
Mr. Smith believed in both his abilities and ours - and he enjoyed helping us make the most of them. I learned that from him and have used it ever since when helping people learn and achieve more than they initially thought they could.
In attending the AHS Senior Farewell ceremonies on the Friday before graduation for the past 10 years, I am reminded of Mr. Smith as the senior choir members end the ceremony with "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" - to which I sing along, misty-eyed.
As many others have recalled, our lives were improved for having had the privilege to learn and laugh with Mr. Smith.