• Gardner Funeral Home
    Runnemede, NJ
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Richard M. Smith 1938 - 2013

Richard M. Smith

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October 25, 2014
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October 25, 2014
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July 26, 2013
"If you can talk, you can sing." R.M.S. 1963
July 26, 2013
Thank you to a wonderful teacher and great friend. You helped me discover a love for choral singing that I still have to this day...still singing after all these years! You also taught me to believe in myself...not at all easy for me...and gave me the courage to solo. The Europe trip of 1980...what can I say other that WOW! I have so many memories of that trip and my years as part of the AHS Concert Choir I truly would not know where to begin. You truly impacted the Rowand Family...my brother John and sister Linda all sang in the choir and we were all so sad to hear of your passing. Even my Dad and Mom have fond memories of caroling nights and wonderful concerts. I will have the amazing experience of watching my freshman daughter process in with the choir this Christmas...holding a candle and wearing those green robes...there is not a chance of dry eyes. RIP Smitty...you will be missed!
July 26, 2013
No one will ever forget all the europe trips, nobody could make that possible except smitty...RIP
July 25, 2013
What an impact Mr. Smith had on me! My life in high school revolved around music and I learned to love what we sang, in grouped quartets, and to appreciate so many types of music. We were exposed to so much by this amazing man. Concert Choir, Ensemble, Madrigal. Phrases still capture me: "Where blows the wind when the wind blow free..." (The Lowland Sea); "A white moth, a flying thing.." and "Pie for breakfast, Pie!" (The Devil and Daniel Webster); Trinadad! (Geographical Fugue), O Sacrum Convivium, Adeste Fidelis, The Lord Bless You and Keep You...and so much more. Truly, Mr. Smith was a shaper of so many lives. I wish I had the chance to thank him for the enjoyment of music that he instilled in me and that I have been able to pass to my children and grandchildren. AHS was a better place thanks to this teacher.
July 25, 2013
Smitty, you were one of a kind. You showed us how to appreciate all types of music and to expand all of our thinking. The European tour of 1980 was truly life changing. EML was a treat as well.

What an experience you offered to us while always being there for us. You never let many people in, but you always were you and you were an incredible man. Thanks for sharing your life with us and letting us have an incredible time while with you. Your legacy will live on in all of us. May you Rest in Peace.
July 25, 2013
I remember when Mr. Smith first arrived at AHS. He seemed hardly older than the seniors in the concert choir and indeed, he wasn't, being fresh out of college. I don't think anyone knew exactly what to expect from him.

What we should have expected was brilliance. Within a few years of his arrival, AHS sent 13 singers to All-State Chorus -- the largest contingent from any school in the state.

Then out of the blue, he announced we were going to Europe! My Mom co-chaired the parents committee that raised the necessary funding: we financed that trip largely by selling doughnuts every Saturday for 18 months.

To say that Mr. Smith impacted my life would be a gross understatement. He was an inspiration to me and, to read the comments of so many others, to nearly everyone he touched.

Mr. Smith and I share a birthday. I think of him every May 21st. And always will.
July 25, 2013
Reading everyones's tributes to Mr. Smith Shows how much he was respected and how much he influenced us.Every entry brings back wonderful memories and the names are an incredible memory to the past. I can "Hear the Murmuring Waters"and still sing it .
July 25, 2013
I will forever sing "Silent Night" in Latin due to Mr. Smith....he lives forever in my singing....
July 25, 2013
I didn't attend AHS, but Gateway. I sang in Dick's ASJ '88, roomed in and counseled All State, and interviewed for his job upon his retirement. I could have never filled his Reeboks. And I'm a choir director today thanks in part to his knowledge and support.

I remember the climb to his office (felt like visiting the Godfather). I deeply fell in love with "Like As The Culver On The Bared Bough". I enjoyed his stories and sense of humor. I loved the enigma that was Dick: older gentleman driving a Trans Am, drinking Johnnie Walker Red, wearing sweatsuits and high top Reeboks and all the while speaking of Bach and opera. He always made it a point to say hi at my Philadelphia Singers concerts at the Kimmel Center.

A thousand thanks to Dick Smith for helping shape the musician and choir director I am today. I hope the cherubim and seraphim can follow his tiny gestures because, as he said, "that's all you're gonna get."
July 25, 2013
I've had the opportunity to sing with choirs through college and after. It still amazes me when I think of the repertoire we sang in Concert Choir. We were singing motets and masses, major works (Carmina Burana!!) and madrigal pieces...all while sitting in quartets! I've talked to other directors about sitting that way, and they all scoff and say "I wish...".
I don't think I fully appreciated what Dick brought to AHS and the community.
I smile when I think of his directing style. Small hand gestures...leaning in and out...shhh with his face...
Conduct that Choir Triumphant Dick! Then have a beer and a smoke.

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1961 AHS Choir/Band album cover
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