Alan Smith was born in London in 1962 and spent his childhood in Croydon. He attended
Trinity School and was involved in many of the activities of its prestigious Music
Department. He was also immersed in church music from an early age. He joined his
local church choir at the age of seven and also sang with the Royal School of Music's
Headquarters Choir, based at nearby Addington Palace. It was here that he had began
organ lessons with Michael Fleming when he was ten.
Alan's first appointment was as Organist and Choirmaster of a local church at the
age of 16. Thrown in at the deep end, he managed somehow to swim rather than sink
and eventually became Organ Scholar at Kings' College, London, where he studied from
1981 to 1984. As part of his music degree, he specialized in composition, studying
with Nicola LeFanu, David Lumsdaine and George Nicholson.
Following postgraduate training at the London Institute of Education, Alan began
his teaching career at Whitgift School, Croydon. After working in various schools,
he became Head of Music at Hazelwick School, Crawley in 1990, a post which he held
for 22 years. In the same year, he came to some prominence by winning the RSCM's
annual composing competition. His successful entry, Let the Peoples Praise You,
became his first published piece and continues to be widely performed. Since then,
Alan's choral and organ compositions have won numerous awards and prizes and his
works have recently featured in the London A Cappella Festival, the London Festival
of Contemporary Church Music and the Annual Festival of New Organ Music. One of
his recent successes was in the 2012 AGO-ECS Publishing Award for Choral Composition,
making him the first British composer to win this prestigious American prize.
Alan's output was predominantly choral and vocal music; his work is widely performed
throughout Europe and America, and have been broadcast on both BBC Radio 3 and Classic
FM. Many of Alan's compositions were written for specific choirs or occasions and
recent commissions have included work for the Burgess Hill Choral Society (Sussex,
UK), St James the Greater (Charlestown, WV), the 2011 Hurst Festival (Sussex, UK),
Millfield School (Somerset, UK) and a chamber organ piece for Paul Ayres (London,
UK). His catalogue runs to over 200 pieces, most of which have been published. This
website contains links to all these pieces, including sample pages from scores along
with audio files.
Since 1988, Alan was Director of Music at St Andrew's church in Burgess Hill, West
Sussex. He lived in the nearby village of Newick with his wife and three children.
He lost his battle with Cancer in April 2017 and the world lost an amazing man and
His wife Sheila will continue to maintain this site so that Alan’s music can remain
in the public domain and continue to be played and enjoyed for years to come.