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 Stephen Barr 



Dr. Stephen Barr

Music Theory and Technology Director of Choirs

BarrStephen Barr is Director of Choirs and Assistant Professor of Theory at Slippery Rock University, where he conducts the University Choir, Chamber Singers, and Women's Choir.  He also teaches music theory, ear training, vocal conducting and secondary choral methods, and music technology.  He holds music degrees from Westminster College (BM), the University of South Florida (MM), and West Virginia University (DMA), where he was awarded a prestigious Swiger Fellowship.  He studied music composition with John Beall, David Taddie, James Lewis, and Douglas Starr, and choral and instrumental conducting with Kathleen Shannon, Don Wilcox, and William Wiedrich.

As director of choirs at SRU, Stephen has overseen the steady growth of the choral program: in Spring 2009, a third ensemble (women's choir) was added to the program, and overall enrollment has increased steadily each year.  The choir has toured and presented concerts at high schools and performance venues both on a local level (Butler, Pittsburgh) and a regional level (Ohio, eastern PA, West Virginia).  The choir regularly collaborates with other music ensembles at SRU—presenting major works including the Fauré Requiem, Vivaldi Gloria, and Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms—and also collaborates with local and regional performing groups.  In Spring of 2010, the Concert Choir will join forces with the Chancel Choir of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Mt. Lebanon, PA, to present Maurice Duruflé's Requiem, with special guest artist Richard Elliot of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Stephen has also served as an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor throughout the western Pennsylvania area.  This past January, he conducted the PMEA District 1 choir with great success (highlighting the final concert by leading the 170 voice choir in a performance of Eric Whitacre's Cloudburst), and this fall he will be the guest clinician at the Mucho Macho Music festival for middle and junior high school boys at North Hills Junior High School in Pittsburgh, PA.

In addition to his conducting duties, Stephen is an active composer working in a variety of mediums, from modern art music for choirs, bands, orchestras, and chamber groups to contemporary film score and music for games in orchestral and electronic styles. His concert music has been performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra (Tampa, FL), American Academy of Conducting Orchestra and Aspen Contemporary Ensemble (Aspen Music Festival, CO), the Three Rivers Choral Society (Pittsburgh, PA), and choral and wind ensembles from several colleges and universities, including Slippery Rock University.  He has also arranged and orchestrated works for the Imperial Symphony Orchestra (Lakeland, FL) and the Sarasota Ballet and Florida West Coast Symphony (Sarasota, FL).

Stephen has been a resident at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, working with composer Robert Ashley, and attended the Susan and Ford Schumann Film Scoring Program at the Aspen Music School and Festival in Aspen, CO, where he studied film scoring with John Corigliano, Jack Smalley, and Jeff Rona.  Most recently, in 2007 his orchestral work Winter Sky was chosen by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to be performed by the orchestra in a public reading session.  In 2008, his choral work i carry your heart was read by the SRU choir with eminent American composer Libby Larsen in attendance; the SRU choir later premiered i carry your heart in March 2009.  He also composed a 45-minute score for SRU Art graduate Garry Price's animated film, Gemini, and in April 2009 his work for flutes and percussion, Robot Samba, was selected for performance at the 52nd National Convention of the College Music Society.

Stephen is also an accomplished baritone vocalist, and has performed roles in various theatrical productions including The Threepenny Opera and Fiddler on the Roof.  As an undergraduate, he also traveled to Italy where he was a featured performer on a special inaugural concert for the reopening of the Teatro Operino in Amelia, Umbria.

For more information on Stephen, please visit

134 Swope Music Hall
(724) 738-2451

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