Heidelberg Wind Ensemble – Our Conductor
Stephen began his music career by studying piano, clarinet and saxophone with some of Melbourne’s finest teachers. He graduated from the University of Melbourne with B. Mus. Ed. and, subsequently, from Monash University with M.A. (Music). From 1980-86 he worked as an Instrumental Music Teacher at various suburban Melbourne High Schools.
During the years 1980-88 he played with the RAA 3rd Division Band, specialising on bass clarinet and baritone saxophone. In 1987, he was appointed Head of Woodwind Studies at Yarra Valley Anglican School. During 1989, he was on teacher-exchange as a Band Director to Oconomowoc Senior High School in Wisconsin, USA. While there, he studied conducting with three eminent American professors at the Universities of Wisconsin at Madison; Michigan at Ann Arbor; and Florida at Tampa. On returning to Australia he continued his conducting studies long distance with Dr. James Croft of Florida University at Tallahassee.
From 1990 to 1995 he was Director of Music at the Yarra Valley Anglican School and is now Head of Music and Performing Arts at Ivanhoe Grammar School: Ridgeway Campus. His conducting activities have involved him with the John Antill Youth Band, the Eastern Youth Laureate Wind Symphony, the South-West Region Music Festival, the Geelong Summer Music Camp, and the Australian Band and Orchestra Directors Association (ABODA).
He was founding Director of the Monash University Wind Ensemble and was its principal conductor during 1993-2000. During his various roles as a senior Music Educator he has commissioned several works for student musician ensembles from composers both Australian and International – Kristin Rule, Jo Selleck, Brian Hogg, Franz Cibulka, Yuen hing-Yau, Robert Sanderson, John Allan and Joe Chindamo.
Stephen regularly champions the work of young and talented Australian composers. He has adjudicated at the Melbourne Schools Band Festival, ABODA festivals, the Victorian Bands League and the Victorian School Music Association. He is married with a family.