Christopher Smith brings nearly 20 years of major orchestral and ensemble experience to the role of Principal Trumpet of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Prior to joining the SDSO, he was 4th/Utility Trumpet with l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) for 11 years, and served as Acting Associate Principal Trumpet from 2015-18. He has performed with OSM on eight international tours (two as Associate Principal Trumpet), numerous live broadcasts on Mezzo TV and Medici.tv (several as Principal Trumpet), and five recordings, including as lead trumpet on MIKA et l'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.
Prior to joining OSM in 2008, Mr. Smith performed for eight years in “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, one of the world’s finest wind ensembles and America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. The Marine Band’s mission is to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps, performing at The White House for The Presidential Inauguration, events of national importance, holidays and ceremonies. Members of The Marine Band also participate in state funerals and full honors funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, including live trumpet performances of “Taps” on national television, which Mr. Smith provided on numerous occasions. He also performed on five U.S. tours totaling over 40 concerts and, as an E-7 Gunnery Sergeant, supervised and mentored junior Marines. Mr. Smith also led small ensembles and was a co-founder of the Valor Brass quintet, which performed two tours and over 10 recitals, including a standing-room-only recital at The Midwest Clinic in Chicago. As a decorated veteran of the Marine Corps, Mr. Smith is a strong supporter of the United States military and is thrilled to connect as a member of the SDSO with the military community in the greater San Diego area.
In addition to his tenured roles in OSM and The United States Marine Band, Christopher Smith has served as Associate Principal Trumpet in the Seattle Symphony (2011-12 season), Acting Principal Trumpet in the Pacific Northwest Ballet (2017-18) and 2nd Trumpet with the Des Moines Metro Opera (2010-11). He has also performed as Guest Principal Trumpet with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Grand Rapids Symphony; lead trumpet with the singer MIKA; guest performer with the group Pink Martini. He has taught as an adjunct instructor at McGill University, led over 30 masterclasses throughout North and South America and privately coached both professional and collegiate trumpet players.