Wisconsin Composer Series: Andrew Steffen

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Andrew Steffen www.apsteffen.com

As we lead up to our April 18th concert featuring music by Wisconsin composers, we are profiling some of the composers and their pieces that we are featuring. We hope that you come out and join us at Alverno College Chapel on April 18th!

Andrew Steffen: “Oft Have I Vow’d”

Andrew Steffen began composing in high school, which made it only natural that he enter the school of music when he began studying at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

“While at Eau Claire, I had great opportunities to develop my writing,” Steffen says. ” I wrote a number of pieces that were performed by the ensembles on campus.  I also was fortunate enough to serve as Composer-in-Residence for The Master Singers in Eau Claire for two seasons (2012-2014).”

In 2013, Andrew was named the winner of the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association Student Composition Contest for my piece “Adoro te, Devote”.  This year, he was named the winner of the Raymond W. Brock Student Composition Contest put on by ACDA.  His winning work, “Spells of Herrick,” was premiered at the national convention in Salt Lake City by the Utah State University Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Cory Evans.  Additionally, he had opportunities to learn from such composers as Ola Gjeilo (whose music has been featured on two previous Chant Claire concerts), as well as Blake Henson, Paul Basler and Ethan Wickman, all of whom also have pieces included in the repertoire for our upcoming concert.

Andrew is currently a Masters student at  Oklahoma State University studying Choral Conducting under Dr. Z. Randall Stroope. Steffen says that studying under Dr. Stroope has been “one of the biggest blessings of [his] life.”

It was at OK State that he composed the piece we are performing on our concert, “Oft Have I Vow’d.” In his studies with Dr. Stroope, he had been doing a lot of work on melody.

“Oft Have I Vow’d” is a study in melody and how it transforms throughout a work.

“The text, though, is so tragic,” says Steffen. “While the poet remains anonymous, it’s so apparent that he/she experienced a great loss of love in their life.  In our quest to find a person who we can share our life with, we experience an array of emotions that guide us and help us to discover ourselves.  This work explores the tragedy of love and the search we go through after we have our heart broken.”

For more information on Andrew Steffen, we encourage you to visit his website, www.apsteffen.com. We hope you enjoy “Oft Have I Vow’d” in our upcoming concert!

 

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