VC Talks: an interview with David Stedge, GLORY Int'l Music Competition prize winner


  • 1st Prize, GLORY Int'l Baroque Music Competition 2018
  • 1st Prize, GLORY Int'l Romantic Music Competition 2018
  • 2nd Prize, GLORY Int'l Modern & Contemporary Classical Music Competition 2018

David Stedge is currently pursuing his Master of Music degree in Flute Performance at West Virginia University, studying under Professor Nina Assimakopoulos. At WVU, he is the Graduate Assistant to the Flute Studio where he teaches lessons to undergraduate students and performs other duties in the School of Music such as working in the Community Music Program Office through WVU and performing in the Graduate Woodwind Quintet. He is also a member of the WVU Symphony Orchestra, performing on both Flute and Piccolo. David recently made his solo debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall as a First Prize Winner of the Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition. Other competition successes include First Prize in The Art of Woodwinds & Brass and Masters of Winds Sonata of the Great Composers Competition, Second Place in WVMTNA, Second Prize in the ENKOR International Woodwinds, Brass, & Percussion Competition, and David was a finalist in the WVU Young Artist Competition. He has also done extensive work at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan and is in his fourth summer of working here. Starting in 2014, David was a Cabin Counselor, a Unit Counselor in 2016, a member of the Touring Staff for the 2017 International Youth Symphony Orchestra, and this summer, he is one of the International Assistants, helping run the program and recruit students for future tours with Blue Lake. Prior to his studies at WVU, David received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with a flute emphasis and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Music with a voice emphasis from the State University of NY at Fredonia. While at Fredonia, David studied Flute with Dr. Susan Royal and Voice with Professor Julie Newell. His previous teachers also include Dr. Carol Shansky for Flute and Ms. Claudette Peterson for Voice.

What year were you born?

Do you come from a musical family?
A little bit. My sister is also a musician, but other than that, nobody else in our family is very musical. They enjoy it and always support us, which is more than we could ever ask for!!

What was your earliest musical experience?
Playing classroom instruments in elementary school.

Why did you choose to play the flute?
I really loved how similar it sounded to singing as well as the high sounds it naturally made. Plus, a lot of my friends wanted to ply it as well, and we decided to all learn it together.

Who are your favorite composers and why?
I LOVE French composers because their music tells the listener a story that I feel I can capture, relate to, and execute in my performance of it.

Who are your musical idols?
All of my teachers in my life. They have been so inspiring and encouraging to me throughout the years and are why I am where I am oday!!

What is a perfect performer?
I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “perfect” performer, but I think the best performers are the ones who are clearly invested in the music and pour their heart and soul into their craft and showcase how much they love performing in front of people!!

What does music mean to you?
I don't think I would really
be much without it, without
it coming through me. It's my
means of communication, my means of growth, my means
of transportation from one
point in my life to another.
-Erykah Badu

What music are you mostly enjoying at the moment?
I am really enjoying orchestral repertoire a lot right now, as I am planning to take as many orchestral auditions as possible as I finish my Masters degree this year.

What are the main influences in your music-making?
How a piece of repertoire sounds from the first listen.

When you are performing, what are your thoughts?
Just to enjoy the moment and remember to share my voice through my instrument.

Where do you study music and what are your future educational plans?
I received my BM in Music Education for Flute and my BA in Applied Music for Voice from the State University of NY at Fredonia, and I am currently pursuing my MM in Flute Performance at West Virginia University. After I graduate this year, I plan to look for teaching jobs in public schools and take orchestral auditions.

What are your reasons to participate in music competitions?
To grow as a musician and person along with getting my name and playing out in the open, so I can learn and grow from as many people as possible.

What is your opinion about GLORY International Music Competition?
It is a great start to getting a musician’s name out in the open.

When it is not music, what interests you? What is your favorite pastime?
I love to cook and workout!! Those are extremely important to me when I’m not practicing.

What book are you reading now?
I am reading The Alexander Technique for Musicians.

What are the happiest moments in your life?
Any moment where I am able to just be and live life to the fullest!

What are your strengths?
Organization, passion, and determination.

What is most important in life?

What is more important: talent or hard work?
I think they are equally important.

If today was the last day on earth, what would you do?
Travel the world.

Thank you very much for talking to us.

In this series of interviews, we explore how some of the most talented and prize winning young classical musicians became interested in music, who are their musical idols, what they are working on at present, and what they strive to achieve in the future.