Francis Smith’s musical journey began at a young age when he first started playing the piano. At age 11, he turned his focus to studying the clarinet and saxophone, of which the latter would become his principal instrument. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University. Francis has taught Instrumental Music at both the elementary and secondary levels with the Halton District School Board since 2015, and is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers and the Ontario Music Educators’ Association.
Francis’ involvement with the Burlington Teen Tour Band began when he joined the Junior Redcoats in 1994. He moved up into the Burlington Teen Tour Band ranks in the spring of 1995. In 1998, he was promoted to Section Leader and in 2000 became one of the band’s Drum Majors, a position he maintained until his retirement as a band member in 2005. During his time in the band, he was a longtime member of the saxophone quartet and served on the band’s executive in the Fundraiser and Vice President roles.
In 2007, Francis joined the Teen Tour Band’s instructional staff in the role of Woodwind Instructor. At the end of 2018, following the retirement of Sir William Hughes, he was appointed to the position of Interim Musical Director. In March 2020, Francis was formally named as the band’s new Musical Director and Associate Director of Bands and Music Services for the City of Burlington’s Recreation Services Department.
Francis currently lives in Burlington with his wife, two young children, and two longhaired miniature dachshunds named Wynton and Chet. Outside of his musical endeavours, he maintains an active lifestyle that includes strength training, scuba diving, and a passion for really great coffee.