Stephen Barr is an award-winning composer, conductor, and orchestrator working in Pittsburgh, PA. He is active writing in a variety of mediums, from modern concert music for choirs, bands, orchestras, and chamber groups, to contemporary film score and music for media in orchestral and orchestral-electronic hybrid styles. His concert music has been performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra (Tampa, FL), American Academy of Conducting Orchestra and Aspen Contemporary Ensemble (Aspen Music Festival, CO), and the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, as well as college and university instrumental and vocal ensembles, and appeared on the programs of national and international music conferences.
His work “Nowell” for chorus, violin, cello, and piano, won the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay’s 2012 Christmas Carol Composition Competition, and his work “Ethereal Wave” for euphonium and percussion was a finalist for the prestigious Harvey Phillips Award for Excellence in Composition.
Stephen is currently Assistant Professor and Director of Choirs at Slippery Rock University, where he conducts the University Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, and Chamber Singers ensembles, as well as the Symphonic Wind Ensemble. His conducting experience includes a variety of choral and instrumental ensembles including large and small mixed choirs, chamber and full symphony orchestras, wind ensembles, and more.
He holds music degrees from Westminster College (BM), the University of South Florida (MM), and West Virginia University (DMA). His primary teachers in composition included John Beall, James Lewis, David Taddie, and Douglas Starr. He has been a resident at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the Susan and Ford Schumann Film Scoring Program at the Aspen Music School and Festival in Aspen, CO, where he studied composition and film scoring with John Corigliano, Jack Smalley, and Jeff Rona. He has studied conducting with Kathleen Shannon, Don Wilcox, William Wiedrich, and eminent American choral conductors Robert Page and René Clausen.