Dr Stephen Newcomb, Lecturer and Head of Jazz at Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University recently received his doctoral study in jazz composition from the Manhattan School of Music.
Manhattan School of Music is not an unfamiliar place for Stephen, as it’s where he completed his Masters in jazz piano performance in 2001, with his final thesis a composition for the Jazz Philharmonic Orchestra, which encompassed a big band, strings, percussion and double winds.
Stephen was honoured to study with one of his heroes, jazz extraordinaire Jim McNeely.
“I studied with one of my heroes and a world exponent of composition/arranging for jazz orchestra,” he said.
Stephen has travelled in and out of Australia showcasing his musical talents at international venues such as A-Train (Berlin), Porgy and Bess (Austria) and The Ellington Jazz Club (Perth).
“I have been very fortunate throughout my career to perform in world class venues across the globe.”
As a musician with talents across many genres, Stephen has also shared his love and passion for composing in orchestral repertoire, developing many compositions and orchestrations for various symphonic ensembles.
“I completed my Bachelor of Music degree in Orchestral Trombone performance, and believe it became the foundation for my future musical career,” he said.
Teaching is also an important element of his work. As musical director for the West End Composers Collective and his teaching positions within Queensland Conservatorium, Stephen believes it is important to provide his students with real world knowledge and experience.