2015 Special Guest PDF Print E-mail

Derek Smith, raised in the small town of Drakes Branch, VA., made his debut on the gospel scene at an early age. Anyone in the surrounding counties can recall the anointing of Derek’s ministry – even as a young fellow. At the age of 4, Derek (affectionately called Lil’ D at the time) began to cultivate his musical talents, and was strongly encouraged by his parents Charles and Joyce Smith. In addition to allowing Derek to lead the family ministry, (The Smith Family Gospel Singers) they insisted Derek take formal piano training from a private teacher.

As he matured, so did his ministry. At the age of 13, he was confronted with an unknown throat condition that doctors said he wouldn’t recover from. After being restricted for several months of singing, God restored the gift that he had given to Derek, and at that point, he knew that he would be telling his testimony for the rest of his life.

In March 08, Derek was crowned the Grand Champion of Disney’s American Idol. Winning, yielded him the opportunity to audition at any AMERICAN IDOL with Celebrity Judges. However, the age limit was not raised as promised and he was too old to participate.

Nevertheless, Derek continues to gain fans all over the country. In May 2008 he released “Just As I Am”. All of his songs, gospel music lovers identify with and love, however, “Change” is a song that not only Christians but all walks of life, can relate to. The movement of the song has crowned Derek as “The Change Man”.

In March 2009, Derek was crowned the Grand Prize Winner of the Exclesisa Gospel Showcase in Olive Branch, MS. This showcase featured over 300 artists.

2010, Derek released a Special Collection called “Let’s Have Church”. The 1st song on the album is the most requested song in the Bay Area, “Call Him” and is an instant favorite to all who hear it.

2011, he was the 3rd place winner of the GMWA Quartet Quest, an International Organization.

He has starred in stage plays, been the Musical Director for churches, hosted a DOO WOP Telethon on PBS television, with “Grease” superstar “BOWSER”. He recently appeared on “The Family Feud” with Steve Harvey, and sung every answer. Derek has shared stages with legendary artists from both Gospel and R & B genres. Some of the artists include, Lee Williams, Keith Wonderboy Johnson, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Tommy Ellison, Slim and the Supreme Angels, The McDonald Sisters, Evelyn Turrentine-Agee, Shirley Murdock, Angie Stone, Betty Wright, Clarence Carter, Millie Jackson, and has performed extensively throughout the United States.

Although Brother Derek has performed with some of the greats in the music industry, he did not think it robbery to come out and share his vast knowledge of the music business with us. Derek Smith graced our workshop as the special guest clinician in 2012 and he brought us to a higher level of expectation. His energy, enthusiasm and excitement was simply infectious. Even if you felt a tinge of shyness you soon let that go and jumped right into the flow of the workshop without reservation or hesitation. Everyone had such a great time in 2012 that he was the most requested artist for a return visit to the workshop. Consequently, we are excited that Brother Derek “The Change Man” Smith has agreed to come back as our 2015 special guest clinician. What a blessing! We welcome you to the Derek Smith Experience!! The journey continues!!!