Audiences and critics praise the music of Kile Smith for its emotional power, direct appeal, and strong voice. The Arc in the Sky with The Crossing received a 2020 Grammy nomination for Best Choral Performance, and the Canticle / Alleluia CD by Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble helped win the 2020 Classical Producer of the Year Grammy for Blanton Alspaugh. Kile’s first opera, The Book of Job, will premiere in multiple cities in the 2021/22 season. A Birch in Winter, which includes Kile’s Where Flames a Word, won the 2020 Estonian Recording of the Year. Recent commissions include works for Conspirare, Piffaro, iSing Girlchoir, a Chorus America–auctioned commission for the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, Gaudete Brass, Orchestra 2001, Mélomanie, the Pennsylvania Girlchoir, and organist Alan Morrison. He has written many orchestral pieces, anthems, other choral music, and songs.
His music has been called “spectacular” by Gramophone, “magnificent” by Fanfare, and “breathtaking” by the Philadelphia Inquirer. One of his favorite reviews was Peter Burwasser describing Vespers as “almost preternaturally beautiful.” He loved the “almost” part and kind of knew what “preternaturally” meant but looked it up anyway in case he saw Peter at a party or something.
His website is kilesmith.com, where he writes about his music and musical activities, and (he promises) hardly anything else. For instance, he’s never mentioned yet, not even on Facebook, how proud he is of the brick patio he designed and built from five different kinds of used bricks around the house, and which is pretty much level, nor how much wood he splits.