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Justin Smith, DMA

Justin Smith DMA

Director of Choral Activities
Joseph P. Naumes Endowed Chair
Department of Art, Music & Creative Arts Therapies
St. Catherine Hall


DMA, University of Houston
MM, University of Oregon
BA, Wesleyan University


Director of Choral Activities


Justin Smith is the Director of Choral Activities and  holder of the Joseph Naumes Endowed Chair in Music at Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon, where he conducts three choirs, teaches music history and conducting, and administers the music core. He is director of the Marylhurst Chorale and founder of the Marylhurst Choral Union and Marylhurst Chamber Choir. Under his leadership, Marylhurst choirs have grown from eighteen to ninety singers, from one to three choirs, and the Marylhurst Chamber Choir has appeared at both the Allstate conference of the Oregon Music Educators Association, and on the stage of historic Carnegie Hall, New York City. He is in demand as an honor choir and festival clinician throughout the Northwest, and will direct several region and district Honor Choirs in Oregon and Washington in 2015-16.

Before taking up his present position, he served as Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Houston Moores School of Music, where he conducted the Concert Women's Chorus and the University Men's Chorus. In the summer of 2010, he founded the Houston Cecilia Chamber Choir, with whom he presented the Houston premiere of Leonard Bernstein's MASS in May of 2012 to rapturous acclaim and sold-out houses. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in April of 2012, conducting the Faure Requiem for MidAmerica Productions.

He holds the DMA in Choral Conducting from the Moores School of Music, where he studied with Charles Hausmann and Betsy Cook Weber. He is a noted scholar of American choral music of the twentieth century, having been published twice in Choral Journal on neglected choral works of Marc Blitzstein and Vincent Persichetti. He holds further degrees in music from Wesleyan University and the University of Oregon. Dr. Smith is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and the Oregon Music Educators Association. He serves as Collegiate R & S Chair on the board of the Oregon ACDA chapter. He and his wife Cristina reside in Northeast Portland with their three beautiful young sons.


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Belluschi Pavilion Featured in Preservation Magazine

The Belluschi Pavilion, a mid-century modern house moved to the Marylhurst campus, was featured in the fall 2015 issue of Preservation Magazine.

Blake Shell Joins RACC Award Panel

Blake Shell, The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Director & Curator of The Art Gym & Belluschi Pavilion, was invited to be a panelist for selecting the 2015 Individual Fellowship Award for The Regional Arts & Culture Council.


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October 04, 2015 – December 05, 2015

Kartz Ucci Retrospective at The Art Gym

The Art Gym will present a retrospective exhibition of the work of Kartz Ucci, a talented and prolific artist who passed away in 2013 at 52 years o...


October 07, 2015 – December 16, 2015

The Planets: Paintings by Sarah Anne Burns

Sarah Anne Burns, BFA ’07 will present hundreds of watercolors in her series: The Planets. The paintings are a departure from Burns' other bodies...


November 24, 2015

Tai Chi Easy and Qi-Gong

The slow gentle Tai Chi and Qi Gong movements and stretches, along with various breathing techniques stimulate the energy pathways, and enhance the...


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