Meet Steve Fitch! He is a composer, author, percussionist, timpanist, educator and drummer and is known for the breadth of his abilities. In his youth, he marched in Drum Corps International (DCI) finals and placed sixth in the DCI snare drum individuals’ competition. Getting off the drum corps bus at Oberlin, Ohio, Steve earned his Bachelor’s of Music in percussion performance studying with Michael Rosen at the prestigious Oberlin Conservatory of Music. There he was the first percussionist ever to win the Oberlin Senior Concerto Competition.
Steve then earned his Master’s of Music in percussion performance at the world-renowned Eastman School of Music, where he studied with John Beck, taught undergraduate percussionists as a teaching assistant to JB, conducted the Eastman Chamber Percussion Ensemble, played extra with the Rochester Philharmonic and went to Europe with the Eastman Philharmonia.
At age 25, Steve won his position with The Phoenix Symphony (PSO), where he continues to play percussion, associate principal timpani and drum set. Distinguishing himself on drum set, he was asked in 2009 to perform Harold Farbermann’s Concerto for Jazz Drummer and Symphony Orchestra at the PSO. Steve has also been called to play drum set with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Utah Symphony. In 2009, he was asked to join the Arizona Musicfest Festival Orchestra, a group made up of some of the best players from top orchestras around the country, as their principal percussionist.
During a two year sabbatical from PSO, Steve lived in Germany from 1992-94, where he became fluent in German and co-founded the Kalamazoo Percussion Trio with German percussionists Heiko Schaefer and Marcus Linke. This trio engagement brought Steve back to Germany for 12 summers following his sabbatical, during which time he toured and recorded a CD with the trio and toured Europe twice with the North German Radio Orchestra (Hannover), backing artists Al Jarreau and Patricia Kaas. From 1999 to 2005, Steve was on the faculty of the Festival of Young Artists in Bayreuth, Germany, where he taught talented college-age students from all over the world and developed his workshop “Ultimate Stick Control — Intuitive Touch.”
Equally, at home in the classical and jazz genres, Steve plays drums in the following Phoenix area big bands: The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, The Extreme Decibel Big Band and the GCC Night band. He was also the drummer for the Valley Big Band and the Red Mountain Big Band until they ceased to exist.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.