From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Smith, Carl H.

Starting in 1958, Dr. Carl H. Smith was the director of the Kentucky State University (KSU) Choir, except for the year he took off to earn his doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh.  Smith was born in Terrell, TX, and grew up in Tulsa, OK. He did his undergraduate work at Lincoln University of Missouri, and after graduating, he accepted the choral director's position at KSU.

Smith has developed many great musicians, music teachers, and professional singers. He is known throughout the United States for his music instruction and choral music. In 2009, he was honored at the 5th Annual Presidential Scholarship Gala held at KSU, a tribute to all that Carl H. Smith has accomplished. He has received numerous awards. In 2009, Smith was chosen to conduct the performance of the 2nd Historically Black Colleges and Universities National Concert Choir performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The Kentucky State University Singers, with director Carl H. Smith, can be heard singing on A Session of Afro-American Folk Songs. The Carl H. Smith Auditorium, in David H. Bradford Hall, was named in his honor.

Dr. Carl H. Smith retired from Kentucky State University in 2009 after 51 years of teaching.

For more see M. Davis, "KSU is set to honor a choral icon," Lexington Herald-Leader, 3/29/2009, City Region section, p. C1; J. Johnson, "Honoring a man of note," Thorobred News, April 16, 2009, vol. 81, no. 8 p. 2 [available online]; and additional information available at CESKAA, Kentucky State University.

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“Smith, Carl H.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 25, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-09-14 17:01:25