Residency at University of Central Florida: Recap and Pictures


This past week, I had the privilege of visiting the University of Central Florida and working with the UCF Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Chung Park. The orchestra premiered two new pieces of mine - Vermont State Fair and Winter Song - on two concerts.

On Friday, February 20th, the orchestra presented an open rehearsal for an audience of several hundred people at St. Luke’s Church in Oviedo.  The first concert was held at St. Luke’s Church on Saturday, February 21st, and on February 22nd, the orchestra traveled to Leesburg, FL to present the program at Hawthorne at Leesburg.  Between all these events, about 2,000 people heard this brand new music! 

In addition to working with the orchestra, I had a great time meeting composition students at UCF and presenting a short talk featuring career tips for composers.

Here are a few pictures from the events:


Thanks so much to Chung Park and the UCF composition faculty for having me, and George Weremchuk and the students of the Symphony Orchestra for performing my music!

2015: A Year in Review


Happy New Year's Eve! As 2015 comes to a close, I'm spending a little time looking back on the past 12 months and remembering everything that happened this year. I don't often share behind-the-scenes posts, but today, I thought it might be fun to share a few of my favorite things from 2015.



2015 was a big year for me, personally and professionally. My wife and I bought our first home in Rochester, NY this summer (a 1920 Colonial) and we're slowly learning how to be homeowners (and how to fix things!).

On a professional note, it was an honor to have my music performed at a number of all-state conferences and honor band festivals in New York, South Carolina, Kansas, Oklahoma, IllinoisHawaii, and Kentucky. In addition, I was thrilled to have my music performed at the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) conference in July and by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-National Honor Band at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in October.

I attended the Chamber Music America (CMA) conference in NYC in January and helped organize the pre-conference day, "How to Succeed in a Changing Musical World," hosted by Eastman's Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research. We had a great time at the conference and enjoyed exploring Times Square for a few days!

Working with the Canandaigua HS Band | Steve Danyew


I had the pleasure of working with several great high school and college bands this year (and a church choir, or two!), with residencies, guest rehearsals, and Skype sessions at Nazareth College, Augustana University, Liverpool High School, Trinity Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Arkansas Tech Summer Band Festival, and Canandaigua Academy, among others.


As a composer, the best part of my job is when people play (or sing) my music. This year, I counted over 65 performances in 18 states (and I know I'm missing some! Side note: I'd love to include your performance on my events calendar! Just fill out this form).


As most of you know, I self-publish the majority of my work, but over the past few years, I've started working with a few publishers for some of my choral and chamber music. This year, I had five pieces accepted for publication with Colla Voce, Augsburg Fortress, and Keyboard Percussion Publications:

- Speaking Love - An Hour of Hallowed Peace - Wake, O My Soul - Filled With His Voice - Chorale Variations


Vermont State Fair | Steve Danyew

It was a busy writing year for me, with two new pieces for band (Vermont State Fair and River Town Jubilee), two pieces for orchestra (Winter Song and Vermont State Fair), a new chamber version of "A Country Boy in Winter" (from Alcott Songs), and my second song cycle (New England Folk Songs).

P.S. Thinking about a commission for the 2016-2017 year? Let's talk!

As always, thanks for your continued encouragement and support of my music. Cheers to 2016!


Happy Birthday, Gustav Mahler

Mahler will always be one of my favorite composers. Very few composers have created music with as much beauty, depth, and power as Mahler. I remember sitting in my college dorm room, listening over and over to the Adagietto movement from his 5th Symphony, which is still one of my favorite pieces of music of all time. Another favorite has to be the finale of his Symphony No. 2 – perhaps the most glorious music I know! I love Mahler’s lyricism, his power, and his directness. His music has always inspired me and I know it will always be a huge influence on me and my own compositions. Here is the great Leonard Bernstein conducting the Adagietto from Symphony No. 5:

Here is Bernstein conducting the last few minutes of Symphony No. 2:

Upcoming National Anthem Performances

My arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner, commissioned by the Idaho State Civic Symphony and conductor Chung Park a couple of years ago, will receive two performances this coming weekend: September 14, 2013 Lake Norman Orchestra Mooresville, NC Additional info here

September 14, 2013 Murray State University Symphony Orchestra Murray, KY Additional info here

Thanks to these ensembles for including my arrangement on their concert, and thanks to Chung Park and the Idaho State Civic Symphony for helping to create it!

NWS at the Forefront of Orchestral Innovation

When I lived in Miami for 5 years, one of my favorite destinations was the New World Symphony. I loved watching the youthful and energetic musicians play the heck out of often very interesting and innovative programs.   And of course, Michael Tilson Thomas is a superstar and there was a lot to be learned from watching him (and hearing his remarks on the music).  And, major guests artists abound at NWS, adding a whole new dimension to the orchestra.

NWS has always been at the forefront of orchestral innovation, and so their relatively new "Pulse" series of late night concert events for younger audiences is not that surprising.  They are consistently coming up with interesting and innovative ideas to engage audiences, push boundaries, and offer a really fantastic product for the Miami audiences.

There is no doubt that Miami is very fortunate to have the NWS and all it's leadership in town.  Here is an article from the Miami Herald on the "Pulse" program.

Star Spangled Banner Arrangement at FMEA!

My good friend Chung Park called last night to tell me that the grade 9-10 Florida All-State Orchestra is going to start off their concert Saturday with my arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner!  Chung is this year's Guest Conductor for the All-State Concert Orchestra (which is sure to be an awesome experience for those kids because Chung is an amazing, inspiring musician).  If you are in Tampa Bay on Saturday, here are the details: When: Saturday January 14, 2012 - 2:00pm Where: Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center Room: Morsani Hall

You can find out more about the Florida All-State Conference here.  And, here is the concert page with info on Chung.

If you are interested in the arrangement, contact me directly, as the music isn't available through my website (yet).