About Stephen Steele

Stephen K. Steele retired following forty-five years of teaching, conducting and administering wind band programs. Dr. Steele developed award winning public school bands in California, Oregon and Arizona during his first fourteen years of teaching, and, in addition to his conducting and administrative responsibilities, taught undergraduate and graduate conducting, wind literature, and music education courses at the University of Arizona and a university located in the Midwest. Collegiate ensembles under his baton performed for local, regional and national conventions, including the 1990 American Bandmasters Association Convention, the 1993 and 2001 College Band Directors National Association Conference, and the 2005 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. Steele conducted and produced many compact discs for the Albany Records label. Much of the repertoire on the discs includes a portion of the significant number of commissions Dr. Steele was responsible for throughout his career. Dr. Steele continues to serve as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor and is a member of the American Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, College Band Directors National Association, American School Band Directors Association, Music Educators National Association, Phi Mu Alpha, Pi Kappa Lambda, and holds honorary memberships in Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma.

Getting Maximum Benefit from the Maslanka Chorales: a practical guide for directors

The Maslanka Collected Chorales are an extraordinary tool to help develop blend, balance, intonation, and ensemble cohesion in groups ranging from large symphonic bands and orchestras to small chamber groups or sectionals. With a daily 5-10 minutes per rehearsal you will hear a significant improvement in melodic and harmonic pitch awareness in your players.

Dr. Stephen K. Steele, former director of bands at Illinois State University and one of the foremost proponents of David Maslanka’s music, offers his strategies and techniques for getting the most out of this fantastic music.

Chorale use

There is absolutely no end to the possibilities in developing the use of these chorales. The following are a few suggestions: in like instrument sectionals or chamber ensembles; mixed instrument sectionals and/or chamber ensembles; full ensemble. I recommend that each chorale be used for at least one week before moving on to the next.

Full Ensemble chorale use

Rehearsal time is precious and must be used in the most beneficial ways possible. I found that beginning each rehearsal with a chorale reading facilitated the ensembles’ sense of balance/blend/pitch; created a center of being and sound; was a point of departure; and established a focus for the rehearsal. These chorales helped to build the ensemble tone quality through diligent daily use.

There are certainly various approaches to the use of the chorales, limited primarily by the conductor’s imagination. What I found to work best was to begin the rehearsal by reading a chorale without comment while intently listening and encouraging the […]

By |2016-12-09T23:08:46+00:001 October 2014|Collected Chorale Settings|