Dr. David Steffens is principal percussionist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. He is a recording artist, clinician, educator and champion of new music who has directed the percussion program at the Bass School since 1997.
As a founding member of the Robert Hohner Percussion Ensemble, Steffens is featured on four internationally released CDs on the DMP recording label -- Different Strokes, The Gamut, The World Music Tour, and Lift-Off – and on Albany Records’ The Percussion Music of David Maslanka. A Percussive Notes review of Different Strokes declared: "This might well be the most artistic balance and blend of percussion music ever recorded."
In 2005, Steffens recorded Lost Luggage – a five-movement work for solo marimba he commissioned from composer Edward Knight – for the CD Where The Sunsets Bleed, also released by Albany.
Steffens has performed with the Midland Symphony, West Shore Symphony Orchestra, Greater Lansing Symphony, Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra, and Schlossfestspiele in Heidelberg, Germany. He is a frequent guest artist and has presented master classes and percussion clinics on campuses nationwide.
Under Steffens’ leadership, Oklahoma City University’s Percussion Ensemble has performed works ranging from a Red Norvo tribute in Austin to a regional premiere of Stravinsky’s Les Noces to a Maslanka work at the national SCI convention. He has built collaborative partnerships with local artists. In 2004, the Percussion Ensemble appeared with Canterbury Choral Society and Ballet Oklahoma in Tango Take Three, at Oklahoma City’s historic Civic Center. Rick Rogers of The Daily Oklahoman singled out the percussionists for special praise: “An unexpected surprise was the OCU Percussion Ensemble, an accomplished group of instrumentalists ably directed by David Steffens. Many in the audience were no doubt unfamiliar with the myriad sounds capable of such a group, but multiple mallet keyboards produce impressive sonorities that turned their featured number into a showstopper.” In 2005, the Percussion Ensemble reprised its collaboration with Canterbury to power the "World Harmonies" concert at the Civic Center.
He received his Performer’s Certificate and his DMA from Eastman School of Music. He is a faculty member at the Oklahoma Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain and has taught at Michigan State, Central Michigan University, and the Eastman School of Music. He is president of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.
He is an artist/clinician for Yamaha Percussion, Black Swamp Percussion, Bosphorus Cymbals, and Vic Firth Mallets.
Vic Firth Mallets
Black Swamp Percussion
Yamaha YM-5100A marimba
Yamaha YG-2500 glockenspiel
Yamaha 9000 series timpani
Yamaha Live Custom Drums