Steven Dennis Bodner (1975-2011) was Music Director of the Symphonic Winds and Opus Zero Band at Williams College, where he also taught classical saxophone, coached chamber music, and taught classes in music fundamentals and aural skills acquisition. He earned a B.A. in philosophy and a B.M. in saxophone performance from Miami (OH) University in 1997, and a M.M. in wind ensemble conducting with academic honors and distinction in performance from New England Conservatory in 1999. At the time of his passing, he was a Ph.D. in Music Education at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he conducted the Youth Wind Ensemble for four years and was Interim Director of Bands, 2002-2003. He has taught at the Hartwick College (2002) and South Shore Conservatory (2003) Summer Music Festivals, as well as in the New England Conservatory Preparatory School (1999-2004); in demand as a guest conductor and clinician, Steven guest conducted ensembles in Massachusetts, Vermont, Ohio, New York, and Virginia, and he adjudicated the Maine High School Band and Vermont Music Educators Association Festivals. An advocate for the creation and performance of new music, he commissioned and premiered numerous works both for wind ensemble and for saxophone. His interpretations received praise from composers such as Louis Andriessen, Michel van der Aa, Andres Carrizo, Shih-Hui Chen, Stephen Dankner, John Frantzen, Nancy Galbraith, Kyle Gann, Michael Gandolfi, Michael Gordon, Judd Greenstein, David Maslanka, Andrea Mazzariello, Barton McLean, Michael Weinstein, and Pulitzer Prize winner Karel Husa. His primary conducting teachers included Frank Battisti, Malcolm W. Rowell, Jr., Gary Speck, and Gunther Schuller.
Also active as a saxophonist, Steven frequently performed with I/O New Music, which he co-directed with Matthew Gold. He also performed with the Williams Chamber Players, the Berkshire Symphony, the microtonal ensemble NotaRiotous and at the Manchester Music Festival. He recorded works by David Kechley and Curtis Hugues, released on CD in 2011. His primary saxophone teachers were Michèle Gingras and Kenneth Radnofsky.
Remembering Stephen Dennis Bodner
There aren’t words to express what we are all experiencing now, with the sudden, inexplicable, cruel death of Steve Bodner. He was a true force of nature, with a heart as big as the universe, and what has happened makes no sense at all. The hole this leaves in our lives, individually and collectively, is huge, and the loss to our department immeasurable.
Department faculty and staff will be here all day to offer what support we can; there will be an email from the Chaplain’s Office this afternoon about an opportunity later today for the entire college community to gather together to remember Steve. Jenny Dewar has created an online message board to share memories and pay tribute to a superb musician, teacher, colleague, mentor, and friend. I will keep you all informed, and please be in touch with any faculty or staff here in the department if there is anything we can do to help at this terrible time.
M. Jennifer Bloxam
Professor of Music and Chair
Department of Music
Bernhard Music Center
54 Chapin Hall Drive
Williamstown, MA 01267