Musical Director / Organist
Wil Smith joined Central’s staff in October 2014, and directs the Chancel Choir, the Handbell Choir, the Youth Band, and the House Band. He studied church music and music composition at Florida State University graduating in 2002, and then earned a master’s degree in composition from Manhattan School of Music in 2005. He lived in New York City from 2003-2014, where he served as associate music director and organist at First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn curating a critically-acclaimed new music series called “Music at First.”
Called an “Intrepid keyboardist” by the New York Times, Wil is active as a composer and performer of new music. He has worked with video artists to present multimedia organ concerts of newly commissioned works written for him by some of today’s leading composers, first premiered at the New Music Miami Festival. He has also performed on piano at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn and the Celebrate Brooklyn music festival, performed on synths in the American Composer Orchestra’s Sonic Festival and on the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s Music off the Walls, and performed on Hammond B3 organ with Present Music in Milwaukee premiering a large-scale theatrical work, Buffalo Nation. In 2012 and 2013, he music directed and conducted Cynthia Hopkins’s multimedia theatrical work, This Clement World, at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, at The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and at REDCAT at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
His original music has been presented by venues across the US, including The Wulf and REDCAT in Los Angeles, the MATA Interval series at Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, the 12 Nights festival in Miami, and the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival at MassMOCA. In addition, recordings of his have been released on New Amsterdam Records and Innova Recordings, featured on WNYC’s Spinning on Air and New Sounds, and played on WQXR’s Q2 radio. Pieces for People, an album on which he is featured playing a solo pipe organ work written for him by composer Paula Matthusen, was named one of the top 10 classical albums of 2015 by The New Yorker, as well as by Boston Globe music critic Steve Smith.
Central has called a talented team of staff members to provide leadership for our community.