Biography of Stephen Shewan
Stephen Shewan (pronounced SHOO-in) has composed music for numerous media, including orchestra, string quartet, chamber ensembles, symphonic band, solo voice, choir and piano. His music has been performed by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the US Army Strings, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Moores School Symphony Orchestra, the Vrije Univeriteit Amsterdam Choir and numerous choirs, bands, chamber ensembles and soloists across the United States and Europe. Shewan's music can be heard on Music of Stephen Shewan, Albany Records (TROY149) Parables of God and Man Albany Records (TROY362) and The Road Less Traveled Albany Records (TROY783). Albany Records released Stephen Shewan: Orchestral and Instrumental Music (TROY 1569) in July of 2015. Shewan's music has been broadcast on over 200 radio stations in America on NPR's Performance Today and on Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin.
The American Record Guide wrote that "Stephen Shewan is a very talented composer, worthy of much higher acclaim than he has attained already. He has the unique ability to join atonal techniques with romanticism, resulting in music that is much more than mere mental manipulation of pitches. It is highly evocative and expressive." After the 50th anniversary concert in honor of KUHF radio, The Houston Chronicle called Shewan's A Celebration Overture "the most pleasurable work (on the program), and unabashedly boisterous. Many times, its style was cubist Aaron Copland harmonies, rhythms and colors like his, but cut up and re-spliced, imaginatively and infectiously." The Buffalo News wrote that (Shewan) "shows a well-developed understanding of choral voice leading, good control over it's potential for expressing excitement, and a comfortable command of both lyrical expression and varied romantic-to-modern harmonization." Composer John Rutter wrote, "Stephen Shewan is a considerable composer who deserves a wide audience."
Shewan was the winner of the 2016 Tampa Bay Master Chorale Christmas Carol Contest. He received the 2011 Robert H. Campbell Endowed Choral Composition Prize at the annual Choral Composition Festival at the Ithaca College School of Music. He is the co-founder of the Williamsville Poetry and Music Celebration the recipient of the 2011 Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts from the College Board. He is a member of the NYSSMA Composition Committee and ASCAP. He played horn in the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra from 1985-1992. In 2000, he received the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra/Erie County Council of Music Coordinators Award for Excellence in Music. In 2004 he was given the New York State Band Director Association's Richard H. Snook Outstanding Band Director Award.
Stephen Shewan teaches music and directs the bands at Williamsville East High School near Buffalo, New York. He taught instrumental music at Odessa-Montour High School from 1983-1992. He is a graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College and Ithaca College, and received his DMA from the Eastman School of Music where his primary teacher was Samuel Adler. He is an active guest conductor, pianist, and clinician. Shewan lives with his beautiful wife, Ruthie, his dog Jubal and his cat Precious.