2019 Viola Award Finalist for Excellence in the Arts Education
Shayne Smith is currently the Director of Bands, Orchestra, and Theater at Flagstaff High School. He graduated with his Bachelor’s of Music from Ashland University in 2016 and moved to Flagstaff to begin teaching at Flagstaff High School in the Fall of 2016. This is Shayne’s third year of teaching and he has shown tremendous dedication to his student’s musical and theatrical progress.
At Flagstaff High School, Smith directs the Flagstaff Eagle Pride Marching Band, Concert Band, Jazz Band, Symphonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Color Guard, and established the Flagstaff High School Drama Club in 2016 in which he annually directs 2 full-length productions which include a Fall Play and a Spring Musical alongside daily theatrical teachings.
His most recent project in instrumental music at Flagstaff High School was in November 2018, Smith led the Flagstaff Eagle Pride Marching Band to qualify compete in the Arizona State Marching Band Competition. Smith wrote and showcased an original show titled Misfitportrayed by the FHS Auxiliary and Theater students in collaboration with the FHS Marching Band. Smith’s story followed a young high school girl who did not fit in amongst her peers and suffered from a string of intense bullying represented
both through face to face interaction and social media. The Misfit character was lured to the back of the field to 4 towering black panels covered by black sheets that were later ripped away revealing hurtful words like “Loner”, “Fat”, and “Reject” leaving our character standing in the shadows of her constant ridicule. The story develops when 2 colorful and free-spirited characters enter the picture and help our Misfit character shed her feelings of self-doubt and hesitancy and trade it for confidence and self-love. This newfound certainty pushes our Misfit to revisit the towering panels at backfield and rotate them to reveal words of courage and tenacity like “Kind”, “Unique”, and “Curvaceous”. Smith wrote this story to keep the issue of bullying within our youth pertinent and hopes this show triggered change for both the victims of bullying and those who have been guilty of it themselves.
The Flagstaff Eagle Pride Marching Band received countless awards and recognition both at a Regional and State levels includingABODA Excellent ratings, Caption Awards in 4 categories including Best Musical Performance, Visual Performance, Auxiliary Performance, and General Effect/Storytelling in Division II.
On the theatrical side, Shayne Smith has brought Theater Arts back to Flagstaff High School by installing the Flagstaff High School Drama Club and recruiting an average of 70 students for the cast and crew of all his productions including Get Smart (2016), Up the Down Staircase (2017), and The Addams Family: A New Musical (2018). Smith is in the midst of his 3rd Production Season at FHS and just recently directed the show 12 Angry Jurors from December 14th-15th, 2018. The play portrays a real world scenario of a struggling 16-year old boy facing the death penalty after being accused of murdering his father. The play puts the audience directly in the Juror Room deliberation and follows as one man stands against the crowd of guilty votes to ensure this case is given the time and attention we all deserve before sending a young man to his demise just based off of his demographic. The relevance of prejudice toward the young boy highlight and portray socio-economic themes and the importance of an unbiased jury. Smith’s choice of such a powerful and timely play demonstrates a commitment to exposing students to challenging topics. the 2018-19 Production season continues at Flagstaff High School with the presentation of Meredith Wilson’sThe Music Man on May 2nd-5th, 2019.
Shayne Smith has made an undeniable and powerful impact of Flagstaff High School’s Performing Arts programs in just the short time he has been teaching by sparking curiosity, energy, and inspiration in his students. Each group he leads excels in their performance all while Smith creates a community of love and acceptance for all those looking to for a home within the arts.