Paul Smith is an innovative and creative performer, conductor, composer, an inspirational educator and an empowering public speaker.
As co-founder of VOCES8, author of The VOCES8 Method and CEO of the VCM Foundation, he has enjoyed more than a decade of work globally in prestigious concert venues, festivals, schools and universities.
Paul is passionate about the impact singing and the arts can have in the widest possible context - from academic improvement to social skills and building more cohesive communities. He uses that passion to design and deliver unique, inclusive and uplifting performance projects. In the 2018-19 season, highlights will include: leading the 'Singing Brussels' massed choir project with BOZAR in Brussels; launching his new album and concert programme titled 'Reflections'; leading a community programme with the Curtis Institute and Live Connections in Philadelphia; premiering his new work 'Dunelm Lux Aeterna' with VOCES8 and students in Durham Cathedral; conducting the Orchestre D'Auvergne in a new concert for students; leading a new initiative at La Seine Musicale in Paris and conducting programmes in the UK, France, Germany, the USA and Japan. Paul will be continuing his work at the University of Cambridge in 2019.
The VOCES8 Method, written by Paul, is published by Edition Peters in four languages, and is now being used in thousands of schools in nine countries. The Method is designed to link specific music-making activities with academic improvement in numeracy, literacy and linguistics. In 2017 Paul published 'Pas de Deux' a new creative workbook for choir with audience participation ideas. As a composer, his new work for SATB choir, SATB soli, piano and timpani, 'A New World' was premiered in 2018 at La Folle Journée and published by Edition Peters. 'A New World' will receive it's US premiere in September 2018 with the VOCES8 US Scholars and choir of St Andrew Methodist Church, Plano. Paul's music now features as part of the VOCES8 Single collection with Edition Peters, and his VOCES8 Method will be appearing on the Tido app in 2019.
Since its inception in 2007 the VCM Foundation has worked with 300,000 young people. Projects have included massed singing performances at the Royal Opera House (London), Cité de la Musique (Paris) and La Folle Journée (Nantes); and with "singing city" projects in cities such as Torino, Wroclaw, Lyon, Hannover, Houston, Albuquerque, Dallas/Fort Worth, Bermuda, Nairobi, Lagos, Dubai, Tokyo, and Taipei. Working in partnership with the Diocese of London, Paul has spearheaded the creation of a home for the VCM Foundation at the Gresham Centre, a centre of excellence in vocal music performance, education and outreach in the heart of the City of London. He regularly works with Apollo5, rising a cappella vocalists and also part of the VCM Foundation.
As an educator and public speaker, Paul has given speeches and created sessions on music and leadership, teamwork, music and creativity, health and wellbeing, and The VOCES8 Method. He presented a TEDx talk entitled “How can we use music to help us learn?”. Engagements at international conferences include the ACDA National and Regional conventions; Europa Cantat; the London Music Education Expo at the Barbican; Chor.com, Germany; the World Symposium of Singing in Budapest at the Liszt Music Academy; the World Symposium of Choral Music in Barcelona and at the Royal College of Music in London.
Paul has been singing for nearly 25 years, first as a boy chorister with the choir of Westminster Abbey, and, since 2005 with the group he co-founded with his brother, VOCES8. As a recording artist with Decca Classics, Paul has featured on best-selling, chart-topping albums and won a host of international awards. He is releasing his first album as a solo artist in 2019, which will include performances by VOCES8, Apollo5, Clare Stewart, Neil Valentine and the VOCES8 Scholars.
Paul is delighted to be an ambassador for Edition Peters, as well as a board member of the 21st Century Musician programme at DePauw University, Indiana.
Photography courtesy of Emma Saunders.
Paul is co-founder of international award winning, chart topping vocal group, VOCES8. Many of his projects build towards a final performance featuring the group. Paul performed with the group from 2005 until 2016. Click on the photo to find out more about the ensemble.
Paul works on a number of projects with rising a cappella stars Apollo5. The group is also part of the VCM Foundation. Click the picture to visit the website for the ensemble.
The Gresham Centre: St Anne and St Agnes Church, a beautiful Wren building in the heart of the City of London. The VCM Foundation set up the Gresham Centre in partnership with the Diocese of London in 2013 under Paul's guidance, and the space is now used to inspire and educate many thousands of students and audiences with choral music each year. Click on the picture to visit the website and find out more.