Winner of the Joan Derryberry Award concerto competition in 1999, percussionist Jared Steward performed Ney Rosauro's Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra as a soloist with the Bryan Symphony Orchestra. In 2009 he was soloist with the UNC School of the Arts percussion ensemble for a performance of Toshiro Mayuzumi's Concertino for Xylophone. He has performed in the percussion section of many orchestras including the Winston-Salem Symphony, Western Piedmont Symphony, St. Louis Philharmonic, York Symphony Orchestra, and orchestras in New England. He was a member of the Bryan Symphony Orchestra for four years. Mr. Steward was percussion co-principal in the Rome Festival Orchestra in Rome, Italy which was where he met his wife, double-bassist Tonya Steward. He is currently a freelance musician working in the Piedmont area of North Carolina.
An avid performer of contemporary music, Mr. Steward founded the contemporary chamber group Just Seven which performed the works of John Cage, Stuart Saunders Smith, Barney Childs and others. His first performance of Cage's Indeterminacy was in 2011 at ReVIEWING Black Mountain College 3, An International Conference in Asheville, NC, where he paired the performance of the text with his own composition, Autobiography in Sound. He played the percussion part on the first performance of Robert Jager's I Dream of Peace and was a member of the historic Marimba Festival Orchestra in West Point, New York.
As an undergraduate, Mr. Steward briefly studied composition with Robert Jager and completed two works during that time. More recently, he has written a piece for marimba and temple blocks with text compiled by Caroline Bergvall using chance operations in order to compose the music.
Mr. Steward was a member of the drumming and dance ensemble ABUSUA for four years during which he danced and played the music of the Ewe and other peoples of West Africa. Concerts included performances with master drummers Abraham Kobina Adzenyah, the late Godwin Agbeli and a performance at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Nashville, TN in 1996.
As a private percussion instructor, he currently teaches at Separk Music in Lewisville, NC. In 2012 he was awarded an Arts in Education grant from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County in order to teach percussion clinics and masterclasses in middle and high schools. While a student at Tennessee Technological University, he was on the Arts Cumberland faculty of TTU's Extended Education Department. He also taught extensively as a marching band drumline coach and private teacher in the Middle Tennessee and greater Boston areas, teaching elementary through high school students.
In recent months, Mr. Steward has started a new interview podcast called What Now? In order to teach recent graduates how they might achieve their own professional goals, the show focuses on the various experiences his guests have had in making a career in music.
He received the Master of Music degree in 2010 at University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he studied with John R. Beck. While an undergraduate at Tennessee Tech, Mr. Steward studied percussion with the late Joseph Rasmussen. He has also studied with John Kasica, Nanae Mimura, Harvey Price, Bill Wiggins and Christopher Norton. He has attended masterclasses by Evelyn Glennie, Bob Becker and as a member of the TTU percussion ensemble, received coaching by Mr. Becker and other members of the percussion ensemble Nexus for a performance of Steve Reich's Drumming.
Mr. Steward is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and an Eagle Boy Scout. He resides in Winston-Salem, NC with his wife Tonya, and two children Nicholas and Madeleine.