Banded Story:

When I was in high school, I was very fortunate that my school's percussion ensemble was selected to perform at both the Midwest Clinic and at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Playing those programs for large rooms full of musicians who I respected and admired so much gave me a strong sense of community and a desire to be a part of this dynamic art form.

Artist Bio:

Stephen Kehner joined the Oregon Symphony as Assistant Principal Percussion in September 2020.

Prior to his arrival in Portland, Stephen served as Acting Section Percussion with the Utah Symphony & Opera in Salt Lake City, and spent three years as a Percussion Fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. He has performed on tours with the St. Louis Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and served as Principal Percussion for the Lakes Area Music Festival in Minnesota. An active chamber musician, Stephen has played contemporary and cross-genre music with the Silk Road Ensemble, Callithumpian Consort, and Sö Percussion, and he often participates in chamber music projects with Portland-area presenters such as 45th Parallel Universe, SoundsTruck NW, and the Makrokosmos Project.

A devoted educator, Stephen has taught students in summer music camps, high school marching bands, youth orchestras, and university percussion departments, and now maintains a private teaching studio at home. During his time as a New World Symphony fellow, he traveled to Medellín, Colombia, to coach students from the Iberacademy youth orchestra and perform alongside them. He is currently a teaching artist for The Percussion Conservatory, a digital platform devoted to classical percussion education, and is also a Professional Member of the Network for Diversity in Concert Percussion. Stephen is a proud artist-endorser for the Zildjian Company, Majestic Percussion, and Freer Percussion.