Stephen’s journey with Music began with Piano lessons when he was 5 years old, which continued throughout his Primary School years. At 10, he began learning the trumpet and joined the school band, a pursuit that would take him on high school tours to both New Zealand and Canada. As High School began, Stephen’s passion for learning the drums was realised, as he received his first Drumkit. Building on the skills and knowledge already gained from his years learning the piano and trumpet, Stephen also began teaching himself to play the guitar and the bass guitar.
Upon finishing High School, Stephen joined a band based on the Gold Coast and spent 1999 touring South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, playing to a cumulative audience of over 55,000 people. During this tour, Stephen enrolled in the Bachelor of Music / Bachelor of Teaching degree at the University of New England in Armidale, graduating in 2003, specialising in Performance and Composition. He has over 16 years of experience teaching classroom music from Years 6 to 12.
After beginning his teaching career at Bishop Druitt College, Stephen and his wife moved to Toowoomba QLD where he worked at Christian Outreach College as a High School Music teacher and for Musicorp Australia as an instrumental music tutor to 5 local primary schools. Stephen and his young family returned to Coffs Harbour in 2011 for Stephen to work at the Christian Community School in Bonville, where he spent 8 years devoting his time and expertise to the school community. Stephen currently works part-time as a classroom music teacher at Bellingen High School.
Through his experience as a performer and his time as an educator, Stephen has strived to instil a love and passion for the pursuit of music in all students under his care. His drive to see young musicians grow, improve and broaden their understanding and ability can be seen through his willingness to share his time, knowledge and skills with all of his students.
In his time as a musician and educator, Stephen has led multiple ensembles, from Jazz and Concert bands, to Choirs, Drumlines and even an Indonesian Gamelan Ensemble. This stems from his firm belief that, while music starts with a dedication to learning the necessary skills required to command an instrument, Music is a truly universal language that must be shared – whether that be with friends and family members or together with other musicians on the stage for all to see, hear and feel.
Stephen is married to a Primary School teacher and small business owner. They have 2 children, a son 11 years and a daughter 8 years. He grew up on the Mid North Coast – firstly living in Mylestom and then in Toormina where he completed the majority of his schooling. While teaching music is a large part of Stephen’s life, he also stays active as a performer, singing and playing the drums for a number of local bands as well as giving his time as an accompanist.