Dr. Steven Darling serves as Assistant Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at the University of Tennessee at Martin and Tubist with the UTM Faculty Brass Quintet. Additionally, Dr. Darling serves as a Performing Artist for Miraphone Instrument Manufacturer.
In demand as a soloist, Darling recently performed Michael Daugherty’s Tuba Concerto Reflections on the Mississippi with the Mason Wind Symphony at the National Concert Band Festival at Butler University and again at Windfest! 2019 at Cincinnati’s Music Hall. In 2019 Dr. Darling had the privilege of premiering his work At the Mountains of Madness for Tuba and String Orchestra with the Wright State University Chamber Orchestra. An award-winning performer, Darling has earned recognition in over ten competitions including the ITEA Euphonium Artist Competition, the Leonard Falcone Tuba Artist Competition, and the American Prize.
Dr. Darling’s debut album Dualities, winner of two Global Music Awards and recipient of numerous grants, was released on the Emeritus Label in 2018. Darling released his second award-winning album American Landscape in 2020. An advocate for new music, Steven has premiered works by Ellen Ruth Harrison, Lawton Hall, Daniel Harrison, Ian Lester, Andy Francis, Michael Neumeyer, Joni Greene, Sy Brandon, and Ben McMillan. As a composer, Dr. Darling’s works have been premiered and performed at the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference, Regional ITEA Conferences, the United States Army Band Tuba-Euphonium Workshop, and universities throughout the country. In 2019 Darling’s work Eyeless in Gaza was recorded by NTEQ on their debut album Machines.
Previously, Dr. Darling served as Artist-Teacher of Tuba and Euphonium at the Music For the Sake of Music Festival in Wisconsin and Principal Tuba of the Lakeside Symphony Orchestra in Ohio. Additionally, Darling has performed with numerous orchestras including the Paducah Symphony Orchestra, Lima Symphony Orchestra, Kettle Moraine Symphony Orchestra, and Richmond Symphony Orchestra. In 2018, Darling was honored to give his debut Carnegie solo performance at the Weill Recital Hall.
An active member of the International Tuba-Euphonium Association, Darling has performed at the International Tuba-Euphonium Conference, as well as the Midwest, Northwest, and Southeast Regional Conferences. Additionally, Darling serves as a reviewer for the New Materials Column of the ITEA Journal, Content Manager of the ITEAONLINE Pedagogy Video Library, and is a frequent contributor to the ITEA Journal.
In demand as a guest clinician and adjudicator, Darling recently served as a judge for the 1st annual International Tuba-Euphonium Association Tuba and Electronics Competition. In 2019, Darling served as a judge for the recorded-round of the Ohio Music Educators Association All-State Band. Additionally, Darling has given lectures at State Music Educator Conferences and the Midwest Trombone-Euphonium Conference. From 2017-2019, Darling served as Guest Artist Liaison, Competition Coordinator, and Co-Host of the Wright State University Low Brass Festival.
Dr. Darling’s former students have won positions with the United States 100th Army Bands, placed in numerous competitions, and serve as Music Educators throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee. Graduates of Dr. Darling’s studio have gained admittance in competitive graduate programs including the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Dr. Darling received his D.M.A. from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, M.M. from Ohio University, and B.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Darling’s mentors include Timothy Northcut, Jason Smith, and Martin Erickson.
I believe there are two primary objectives of music education: 1) to develop the innate musical abilities of the individual by maturing and expanding his/her potential for growth and 2) music education is a service, and as such, I must impart a sense of outreach and thoughtfulness to my students, so they in turn encourage their own personal growth and the betterment of those in their local community. Through honest and clear conversation, I communicate the following expectations: practice deliberately, be willing to attempt performance and pedagogical techniques, be open to growth and change, remain determined and thoughtful, and support one another.
A goal-oriented educator, I assign literature, which provides students immediate challenges surmountable through thoughtful practice and study. Attainable challenges are meant to develop students’ performance and teaching abilities, comprehension and application of pedagogical concepts, and professional marketability. Expectations of music education and music performance majors differ only slightly, predominantly in regard to the selection of solo and excerpt literature. Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble allows students an opportunity to directly apply and refine concepts discussed in lessons in an intimate performance environment. Additionally, this ensemble offers students the opportunity to develop chamber-music-specific performance techniques.
To enrich the educational experience, I encourage my students to apply to solo and chamber competitions, orchestral/military band openings, summer music festivals, and actively perform and teach throughout their local community. Additionally, students are encouraged to attend professional development conferences including Regional and International Tuba-Euphonium Association Conferences, State Music Educator Conferences, National and State Music Educator Conferences, and all applicable masterclasses and lectures.
Upon completion of a four-year course of study, students will possess the following:
an understanding of tuba/euphonium specific pedagogical concepts,
copies of standard pedagogical and performance literature,
understanding of period-specific performance practice techniques,
the ability to organize a course of study for developing tuba/euphonium students,
knowledge pertaining to prominent performers and pedagogues,
the ability to diagnose fundamental and musical opportunities for improvement,
and the ability to clearly articulate pedagogical concepts.
A community builder, I nurture a communal and team-orientated environment. I believe, if I am an effective educator, my students will create a living network of professional and personal support for one another. Thus, creating collaborative and meaningful experiences for one another, their students, and their local communities.