W. Bramwell Smith Jr

W. (William) Bramwell Smith Jr. Trumpeter, bandmaster, composer, teacher, administrator, b Ottawa 3 Mar 1929, d Toronto 4 Aug 1993. Bramwell Smith began learning cornet at age 10 in Ottawa from his father and uncles, who were professional trumpet players.

Smith, W. Bramwell Jr

W. (William) Bramwell Smith Jr. Trumpeter, bandmaster, composer, teacher, administrator, b Ottawa 3 Mar 1929, d Toronto 4 Aug 1993. Bramwell Smith began learning cornet at age 10 in Ottawa from his father and uncles, who were professional trumpet players. By 14 he was principal cornet with the Royal Regiment of Canada. At 15 he won a national competition for brass instruments, and in 1945 he won the cornet class at the Peel Music Festival. While studying trumpet 1945-9 with Ellis McLintock Sr at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Bramwell Smith appeared with dance bands and in various orchestras. At 19, he moved to Washington, DC, as trumpet soloist (1949-57) with the US Marine Band. While in Washington, in 1959 he founded a ceremonial group, the Herald Trumpets, and the Repertory Brass Ensemble. He also composed and arranged music for official functions (including the presidential inauguration of John F. Kennedy in 1960), composed a Presidential Recessional, and was a music consultant for the White House.

W. Bramwell Smith Jr. was chairman 1962-7 of the brass and winds department of American University. He toured North America as head clinician for Leblanc-Holton musical instruments, conducting orchestras and bands and playing at university seminars. On his return to Canada he served 1967-75 as music director of the RCMP Band with the rank of superintendent, and directed the RCMP Centennial Review in 1973. He was educational consultant 1975-8 for Yamaha of Canada, program co-ordinator and director of bands 1978-82 at Humber College, Toronto, and conductor 1983-6 of the Humber Concert Band. In Rabat, Morocco, he was consultant 1982-3 to King Hassan II and director of music for the Royal Moroccan Air Force Bands. He became director of the concert band at the University of Toronto in 1987. He recorded as a soloist (Bram Smith and His Trumpet, 1957, Golden Crest 4012) and as music director of the RCMP Band (Dynamic Sound, 1972, Polydor 2917-068), and was featured in the film Artistry in Brass. Smith was an authority on the valveless post horn.

Bramwell Smith's pupils included his son, W. Bramwell Smith III (b Silver Springs, Md, 26 Dec 1952), who later studied in Toronto with Arnie Chycoski and Don Johnson, in 1974 became a trumpeter with Nimmons 'N' Nine Plus Six, and was principal trumpet in the US Army Band.

Writings

"Training for reality," Music Journal, Jan 1965


Further Reading

  • Helms, Major Keith. "W. Bramwell Smith," Music Journal, Jan 1965

    Mitchell, Gilbert. "The United States Army Herald Trumpets and the memory of W. Bramwell Smith (1929-1993)," International Trumpet Guild Journal, Sep 1996