John Smith first played snare drum with St. Clare’s Golden Emeralds fife, drum and bugle corps in 1960. He later served as assistant drum instructor and director. He has also been drum instructor for seven different parade and standstill groups between 1974 and 1990. As a performer, he played bongos in Hawthorne Caballeros’ Latin section in 1966, then played snare drum for the next few years. He is a charter member of the Hawthorne alumni corps, playing snare drum and serving as drum instructor since 2000. He has judged in the Suffolk-Nassau Association standstill division since 1972, and the New York State Association standstill division since 1980.