Rivers Smith grew up in King’s Mountain, North Carolina. He attended Appalachian State University on a Teaching Fellows and Music Scholarship, and then graduated from the University of North Carolina Charlotte in 1996. He has taught in Henderson and Transylvania Counties. In Transylvania County he began teaching at Brevard Academy Charter School where he taught third grade. Later, he became the director of music programs at this K-8 charter school on the campus of The Brevard Music Center. In that role he taught all music classes and ensembles and started the school’s jazz band. He also directed the annual school musical. While at Brevard Academy, Rivers served as the lead teacher for the school. In 2009 he took over as the chorus and general music teacher at Brevard Middle School. In 2014 he became the chorus teacher at Brevard High School.
Rivers was the owner of Carolina Band Supply and Music Lesson Studio from 2004-2008. He is a hired performer for vocal work, tuba, guitar, and bass guitar. He lives in Brevard with his wife Carolyn, also a music teacher, accompanist, composer/arranger. Their family includes his son Joe and his step-daughter Rhea and a rambunctious Labradoodle, Maggie.