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!


We're Not in Kansas Anymore!

Couldn't resist that title.  Anyway, yes, I am back home after a wonderful trip to KMEA in Wichita, KS.  I flew in Thursday and just barely missed the Bethel College Wind Ensemble's performance of Lauda! Ahhrrrrg!  However, everyone I talked to raved about the Bethel Wind Ensemble, so I'm very happy for them and congratulate them on what sounds like a fantastic performance.  My hat goes off to my good friend Timothy Shade who not only conducted that fine ensemble, but also played euphonium, trombone, and ran 2 clinics at the conference!  He is an inspiring musician, full of love and passion for music, and I really enjoy working with him.  I also had a great time visiting with Tim's wife Gabby, Adrian Sandi (1st clarinet in the Wichita Symphony and a friend from ESM) and composer Derek Jenkins. Derek, Tim, and I presented a clinic Friday morning on composing and commissioning, and here is a link to a handout I put together on the subject.

It was also great to meet new friends and colleagues and I look forward to some exciting new projects in the future.  Hopefully I will be back to KMEA soon!

Off to Kansas

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I head out to Kansas for the KMEA Workshop.  The Bethel College Wind Ensemble directed by Timothy Shade will be performing "Lauda" and I sure hope my plane is on time - I only have 40 minutes from landing to the start of the concert!  Also, on Friday morning I will be participating in a panel discussion about composing and commissioning, organized by Tim.  Here is an article that appeared in the Bethel College News yesterday.

At Keene State College Today

Today I spent the day at Keene State College in Keene, NH talking to a composition class - listening to student works, and discussing my own. It was a wonderful time - the students presented some excellent compositions, and all of the students had insightful things to say about all of the music we discussed.  It was a lot of fun.

At the end I handed out a little document I recently put together which lists 18 "tips for young composers."  These ideas range from the importance of having a positive attitude to attending conferences and concerts.  They are ideas I have thought about over the last few years of being out of school and trying to further my career as a composer.  You can read the document here.  Enjoy!

Thanks to Keene State and the students for hosting me today, and especially Dr. Heather Gilligan and Dr. James Cheesebrough for organizing my visit!