Welcome to Arkansas State University!

News Article

Department of Music to present Stephen Sims in Guest Violin Recital, with Pianist Lauren Schack Clark


JONESBORO -- Two professional musicians whose teaching brings out the best in aspiring young performers will share their own talent in a concert at Arkansas State University on Saturday, Feb. 16.

Dr. Stephen Sims will present a violin recital with pianist Dr. Lauren Schack Clark at 3 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall.

The violinist is an instructor at the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Sato Center for Suzuki Studies, while Clark is associate professor of piano and director of keyboard studies at Arkansas State.

Their program will feature works by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, and Joseph Canteloube. Admission is free and open to the public.

Sims holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in performance and pedagogy from the University of Iowa, where he won the Pelzer Fellowship Award in performance; a master’s degree in performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was awarded the Jerome Gross Memorial Prize in violin and the Alumni Association Valedictory Prize; and a bachelor’s degree in performance from the University of Illinois, graduating with high honors.

His principal teachers include Leopold LaFosse, Linda Cerone, David Russell, Catherine Tait, Sergiu Luca, and Barbara Jackson. While working on his master’s degree, Sims was enrolled in CIM’s first Suzuki pedagogy course. He has been a registered Suzuki teacher for more than 20 years and is a frequent clinician at Suzuki workshops and institutes around the country.

An orchestral musician for many years, Sims served as assistant principal violin of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra from 1998-2002, concertmaster of the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra from 1988-94, and assistant concertmaster of the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra while in his junior year of high school. He has performed as soloist with the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the Bethany College/Lindsborg Community Orchestra, the Emporia State University Orchestra, the Delta Symphony Orchestra, and the Minnesota State University Orchestra. He has performed recitals throughout the United States and in Ireland.

From 2005-2012 Sims also taught at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. Prior to his appointment to the CIM Faculty in 2004, Sims held teaching positions at the University of Memphis Community Music School, the Preucil School of Music in Iowa City, and the Cedar Rapids Symphony School of Music. His students have won numerous concerto competitions, served as concertmasters and section principals for all-state and national youth orchestras, and continued on to successful careers. In 2000, the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts recognized him as one of Tennessee’s outstanding educators.

Lauren Schack Clark has performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist throughout the United States and Europe. She was voted Teacher of the Year 2008 by the Arkansas State Music Teachers Association and Lt. Col. Barney Smith Professor of the Year 2009 by the ASU Student Government Association. Solo performances have included recitals in Naples, Italy, at Berklee College of Music, and at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania.

She presented a lecture/recital with Dr. Marika Kyriakos, soprano, at the World Piano Conference, at the 2011 MTNA Conference in Milwaukee, the combined Kansas/Missouri MTA Conference, and the Arkansas State Music Teachers Conference. Her solo CD was released by Centaur Records in February 2008, and contains piano music written by Boston composer Dr. Rosey Lee, faculty, Berklee College of Music. Her book, “Keyboard Theory and Piano Technique,” is published by Longbow Publishing. Dr. Clark also performed as soloist with the Delta Symphony Orchestra.

She has played with principle players of many major orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Scottish National Orchestra, and with faculty members of the Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, University of Michigan, and Cincinnati-College Conservatory. She performed in Paris in 1997 in conjunction with the Institute for Advanced Vocal Study, and again at the 2001 French Piano Institute. With her husband, bassoonist Dr. Dale Clark, she has played at the Cork School of Music, Ireland, Florida State University, the University of Florida, the University of Washington-Seattle, the University of Texas-Austin, the University of Nebraska, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and Boston Conservatory.

Her students have won first prizes in such competitions as the Delta Symphony Concerto Competition, Tennessee Music Teachers Association auditions and the Beethoven Club competition. The immediate past president of the Arkansas State Music Teachers Association, she holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in collaborative piano from Boston University, a master's in piano performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University, a graduate diploma from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass., and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Hartt School of Music. Her principal teachers were Raymond Hanson, Eda Mazo-Shlyam, Deborah Sobol, and Thomas Stumpf.

For more details, contact the Department of Music, (870) 972-2094 or visit the website, http://www.astate.edu/college/fine-arts/music/

# # #

Stephen Sims
Stephen Sims
Lauren Schack Clark
Lauren Schack Clark