Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter, College President
Harry’s musical mastery is a result of his formal training in music composition and classical guitar, his experience growing up as a blues/rock guitarist in the bayous of Louisiana, and his career as composer, performer, educator, and arts leader for over thirty years.
Harry pursued his first college career at Vanderbilt University, majoring in literature and art history. But his passion for late-night jam sessions interfered with his studies and he wound up pursuing his musical dreams, earning a degree in composition from Berklee College of Music, and a Masters from New England Conservatory.
He taught at Berklee for a several years, at Groton School, Milton Academy, then at the University of Massachusetts—Lowell for sixteen years. Harry added institutional leadership to his repertoire by becoming the Executive Director of Indian Hill Music Center, the Director of MacPhail Center for Music, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Berklee, and finally serving as President of McNally Smith College of Music.
Back in the ’80s, when music synthesizers hit the scene, Harry filled his basement with sequencers, drum machines, keyboard synths, and multi-track recorders. Harry collaborated with choreographer Sam Costa and composed numerous dance scores performed from New York to Minneapolis. The high tech equipment also inspired Harry’s return to his roots, and he played lead guitar and sang with The Born Bluezers, along with Danny Klein, bassist with the J. Geils Band.
He also used high tech music equipment in his classical compositions, scoring numerous pieces for acoustic and electronic instruments, and pioneered their use for educational purposes. Harry’s music has been performed by some of the leading artists of our time including the Muir String Quartet, Jorja Fleezanis, Randall Hodgkinson, The Indian Hill Symphony Orchestra, and many more.
He recorded a CD of original songs, Sketches, and is hard at work on another collection of diverse tunes. His new works reflect 40 years of professional experience in music and are a captivating blend of folk, blues, rock, and jazz. His voice is distinctive, his guitar playing smooth, inventive, and highly skilled, and his lyrics are thoughtful and challenging.
President of McNally Smith College by day, Harry is still highly active as a singer and songwriter, often performing on campus and throughout the region.
Read the President’s Blog.
Chairman of the Board
Jack’s vision to start a music school began while teaching at the MacPhail Center for Music, then a part of the University of Minnesota. Jack is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the music college while continuing to be active as a guitarist and singer/songwriter.
Jack is past president of the Minnesota Music Academy, a member of NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, the GRAMMY organization) and recipient of the 2000 Outstanding Musicians of the 20th Century. He was named to the INC 500 as chairman of one of the fastest growing organizations in the country and is listed in the Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals.
Chief Artistic Officer, Founder
Doug Smith is founder and Chief Artistic Officer of McNally Smith College of Music. Doug is a classical guitarist, lutist, composer, and author of the 15 volume series, Doug Smith’s Classical Guitar Method [McNally Smith College Press]. Recordings and music downloads of Doug’s compositions are available at Munificent.com. A graduate of Winona State University, Doug served as National Education Chair of the Guitar Division of the American String Teachers Association and has lectured and performed in the United States and Europe. Doug serves on the Advisory Board for the St. Paul Conservatory of Music.
Vice President of Organizational Development
Chris Osgood was named Vice President of Organizational Development at McNally Smith College of Music in May, 2008. Before coming to McNally Smith, Chris was Director of Artist Services at Springboard for the Arts- a position he held for 18 years. At Springboard, Chris met with or spoke to over 3000 self-employed creative people a year on marketing, career planning, and other professional development issues related to making a living as an artist.
Before Springboard, Chris was label manager and producer at Twin/Tone Records- an independent “artist-oriented” label located in Minneapolis. He is a guitar player, and in 1989 was named Rock Guitarist of the Year at the Minnesota Music Awards and was chairperson of the Minnesota Music Academy board of directors from 1989 to 1991. Chris was Minnesota Music’s Man of the Year in 1992. He recently served on the boards of Franklin Art Works (where he was board president) and the Developing Arts and Music Foundation (he was board chair), and on the advisory boards of the Native American Music Association and the Fairview Arts Medicine Center. Chris was appointed to the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2001. He served until 2005 as one of eleven appointees from around the state who oversee Arts Board activities. In March, 2006 Chris received the Sally Ordway Irvine Award for his contributions to Minnesota arts and culture.
Chris formed the seminal punk rock band The Suicide Commandos in 1975 and recorded for Phonogram and Twin/Tone Records 1977-80. The Commandos were re-released on Mercury Records, August 1996 and were inducted into the Minnesota Rock and Country Hall of Fame in May, 2006. Pioneer Rock videographer Chuck Statler’s video of Chris’ song Burn It Down was screened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in November, 2006. The Suicide Commandos were released on iTunes Island Def Jam and iTunes Twin/Tone in 2007.