Growing up in Greenwood, Desmond Smith was mesmerized watching the marching bands perform at Greenwood High School and Mississippi Valley State University football games.
He always sat next to the bands and watched them play. He knew he wanted to take part in the thrills of the bands, specifically by acting as a band announcer.
“It was just a dream I wanted to do,” Smith said.
Now 39 and still living in Greenwood, Smith has realized that dream as the announcer for the marching bands of Greenwood High School and MVSU, his two alma maters.
Smith said he details the movement of the bands, tells what songs are playing and introduces the dancers to the audience. “I love crowd participation, and I just love helping out,” he said.
Unfortunately, with fall sports canceled in the Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School District and MVSU football games postponed until the spring semester, Smith has not been able to announce for the bands this year.
“I am not well,” he said.
Still, as a social and positive person, Smith stays on the bright side of things: “I have to look at everything as a positive.”
Smith has volunteered as a marching band announcer for Greenwood High for 18 years. He graduated in 2000. For MVSU, where he studied mass communications and broadcasting, he has served as a marching band announcer for nine years.
“It’s fun. I love being around marching bands,” said Smith, whose work has taken him to NFL stadiums in Chicago, Houston and Nashville.
When he isn’t announcing at halftime shows for football games, he works as asset management director at Greenwood Leflore Hospital, keeping up with hospital medical equipment used by patients.
He also works part time as an executive assistant for the WGNL/WGNG radio stations, where his duties include creating commercial logs and billing. And he has served as the choir director at Strangers Home Missionary Baptist Church for 13 years.
“That’s fun as well,” said Smith, who participated in choirs in high school and college. “I like singing. I’ve always enjoyed music anyway.”
Being involved in the community through various activities allows him to stay local, he explained. In addition, his social activities, as well as his positive attitude, fall in line with his Gemini astrological sign, he said.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, though, he is wearing a mask, and “the mask is stopping me from showing my smile,” Smith said with a laugh.
He has, however, come up with an alternative — “smizing,” a term he uses to describe smiling with the eyes.
“I’m a very positive person,” he said. “I love to smile.”
• Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or firstname.lastname@example.org.