About

Steven grew up in Florida. He started singing in Church Choirs at age 4. Took Piano starting at age 6. He played Percussion in school bands and sang in school choirs. He was the Student Conductor of the Band his senior year. In the middle of that same year he started college at Brevard Community College, where he studied music theory, choral and instrumental conducting and Music Education. He studied Choral Conducting under Dr. Thomas Whiteside and was his assistant conductor at Church. It was about this time that he heard for the second time in his life the Rachmaniov All-Night-Vigil. This inaugurated an inquiry into Russian Orthodox Choral Music. From BCC, Steven then studied at Stetson University School of Music. He continued his study of Percussion, Voice, and Music Theory, Studying Percussion with Laura Stotesbury-Fischer, voice with Nansi Carol, Counterpoint with Virginia Hutchings, and Orchestration and Composition with Richard Feasel and Orchestral conducting with Sir Geoffrey Gilbert. While studying at the School of Music he also took the opportunity to sing with the recently retired choral master Harold “Prof” Giffin who had directed Stetson’s Choral program for many decades. He took every opportunity to sing with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony when they came to Florida. He also continued studying Choral directing privately with Dr. Whiteside.

 

Stetson had a strong Russian Studies program and in 1979 they went to the Soviet Union for the coldest winter of the 20th century. While in Russia, he attended as many Orthodox services as he could. Upon returning to the USA he began the process of converting to Orthodox Christianity. He trained as a cantor in the Ruthenian rite, directed choir at St Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church in Orlando, St. Simeon Orthodox Church in Titusville. He was tonsured as a Reader while at Titusville. At the same time he played Timpani in the Brevard Symphony Orchestra, the Space Coast Philhamonic and other local orchestras. Job opportunities took him to Dallas where he was the assistant Choir director at St. Seraphim Cathedral and the founding choir director of St. Sava’s in Plano. Returning to Florida he sang with St. John’s Greek Orthodox Choir, and directed choir at St. Gregory’s Russian Orthodox Church in Tampa. While in Tampa he sang with the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay. The Master Chorale sponsored a worship with Paul Salamunovich. Coming to the Seattle area (again because of work) He sang with the Seattle Choral Company, with the Illumni Men’s Chorale, with St. Spiridon Cathedral Choir, and was also the founding director of the choir at St. Elizabeth of Moscow Orthodox Church in Poulsbo. He continues to compose music for various ensemble combinations.

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