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Conductor Robert Wayne Smith, a founding member of the Coastside Community Orchestra in 1983, has played a long and important role in the musical life of the Coastside. The Half Moon Bay City Council even named April 16, 1988 Robert Wayne Smith Day.

For many years in charge of young musicians at Cunha Intermediate School and later at half Moon Bay High School, he taught and played all the instruments, specializing in trombone, guitar and violin. For some students, Mr. Smith represented their first and only contact with instrumental study, but many of his former students have gone on to be performers and teachers themselves. 

Robert’s own musical training included conversations on music and conducting with the notable teacher Olaf Christiansen.

Robert plays violin and other instruments with the Coastside Community Orchestra when he is not conducting. He was a founding member of the Pacific Coast Ragtime Orchestra, playing bass, and he has played with show bands and orchestras in the San Francisco Bay Area, in Chicago where he lived from 1991 to 1996 and in Stockton, where his wife Tricia tough at the University of the Pacific. While in Chicago he played with the Southwest Symphony Orchestra and conducted at the American Conductors’ Guild workshop with the University of Chicago Symphony.

Back on the Coastside in the El Granada house Robert and Tricia built themselves, Smith taught music in Daly City until his retirement. Robert is a former president of the San Francisco Bonsai Society.