Originally from Kingston, Ontario, Stephen is a graduate of Queen’s University, McGill University, and the University of British Columbia. Stephen has been with the RDYO since 1990, starting as a woodwind coach, working with Music Director Lloyd Blackman, and conductors Wallace Leung and Lorraine Grescoe. Stephen became a staff conductor of the Intermediate Orchestra in 1995, and with Wallace toured the orchestra to Quebec and Ontario in July 1997 Stephen started a small wind ensemble on Thursday afternoons at Ladner Community Centre in about 1998 and was appointed Music Director in 2001-2002. Stephen celebrates his 20th season conducting the RDYO Symphony this year (since 2003-2004).
Stephen has studied orchestral conducting at Queen’s and McGill Universities and he has continued his studies at summer workshops at UBC, and with the University of Calgary, as well as Symphonic Workshops in the Czech Republic, and Orchestra Canada workshops with Gustav Meier. As a composer and arranger, his symphonic scores have been performed by many local groups including the Richmond Orchestra and Chorus, Lions Gate Sinfonia, Victoria Symphony, Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and others.
Stephen has taken the RDYO and the Symphony Orchestra through many collaborations, with guest artists such as the Borealis Quartet, Joe Trio, Jazz meets classical with VanJango, UBC Opera with Nancy Hermiston, Los Gitanos School of Spanish Dance, and even two traditional East meets West concerts with ensembles such as the Vancouver Chinese Ensemble.
Stephen also serves as the Music Director of the Delta Community Music School where he has taught clarinet and saxophone for more than 30 years. Stephen is also the co-founder of the South Delta Jazz Festival which is coming up on its 20th season. Stephen maintains a busy performance schedule as well as his teaching schedule, working as an adjudicator, clarinetist, saxophonist, piano accompanist, and jazz pianist.