DEPARTMENT OF BANDS
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Stephen L. Gage has served as Professor of Music and Director of Bands at Youngstown State University and as the Edward Zacharias Memorial Chair/Conductor of the Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra since 1993, and he began serving as assistant conductor of the YSU/Dana Symphony Orchestra in 2006. For the academic year 2008-09, Dr. Gage was the principal conductor of the YSU/Dana Symphony Orchestra. He holds degrees from the University of Illinois, the Eastman School of Music, and State University of New York at Fredonia where he also earned the Performers Certificate in Percussion. Stephen has studied conducting with Harry John Brown, Donald Hunsberger, David Effron, Roy Ernst, James Keene, H. Robert Reynolds, and Paul Vermel.
In addition to his conducting career, Dr. Gage has performed with the Erie Philharmonic (PA), the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra (IL), the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, and the Jimmy Dorsey Jazz Orchestra; and he was a marimba concerto soloist with the Fredonia Symphony Orchestra. He served a four-year term on the Board of Advisors for the St. Patrick's Day Festival in Dublin, Ireland. Ensembles under his direction have performed at state music conventions in New York, Kansas, and Ohio, for the MENC Biennial Convention in Nashville, for CBDNA Conventions, and in NYC’s acclaimed Carnegie Hall.
Stephen has written numerous publications on conducting, rehearsal techniques, and literature, and is an active wind band and orchestral guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator of international repute having guest conducted and cliniced throughout the United States, and in Canada and Ireland. Dr. Gage has recently served as a guest conductor for the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, the W.D. Packard Concert Band, the U.S. Army Band: Pershing’s Own, the U.S. Army Field Band, the University of Miami (FL) Wind Ensemble, the University of Nebraska: Omaha Wind Ensemble, and for numerous all-state and regional honors orchestras and wind bands.
Professor Gage has received critical acclaim from a number of distinguished composers, including Joseph Schwanter, Samuel Adler, Karel Husa, Donald Grantham, Frank Ticheli, and David Gillingham, for his interpretation, performance and recordings of their music. Dr. Gage’s professional affiliations include memberships in the CBDNA, NBA, OMEA/MENC, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Sigma Alpha Iota, Conductors Guild, Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Beta Mu, and Phi Kappa Phi. In 1999, Stephen was inducted into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and was named Distinguished Professor at YSU. He and the YSU Wind Ensemble made their NYC Carnegie Hall debut in 2005. With the YSU Wind Ensemble, Gage has released and produced six CD’s since 1998. The last of these, Urban Requiem, was issued in June 2008 by the NAXOS Recording Label; NAXOS is considered the world’s largest classical on-line recording label and distributor.
Stephen lives in Poland with his wife, Stephanie. and two of his three children, Claudia and Brendan. His son, Matthew, lives in Austin, Texas.
Brandt Payne is Director of Athletic Bands and Assistant Professor of Music for the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. Dr. Payne’s previous academic appointments include Associate Director of Bands at the University of Hawai’i and interim Associate Director of Bands and studio trombone teacher for one year at the University of Wyoming. Payne also taught in the Red Oak Public Schools in Red Oak, Iowa.
At the University of Hawaii, he directed the Warrior Marching Band and the Symphonic Band, and taught courses in conducting, and music education. In 2006, under Payne’s direction, the University of Hawaii Marching Band was one of five marching bands from across the country selected for presentation at the College Band Director’s National Association National Conference. Also in 2008, for the second time in school history the University of Hawaii Marching Band performed on the mainland U.S. at the 2008 Sugar Bowl as part of the Bowl Championship Series. At Wyoming, Payne took the Western Thunder Marching Band to the 2004 Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl.
A native of Iowa, Dr. Payne holds a Bachelor of Music degree in trombone performance and
teacher certification from the University of Iowa and a Master of Music degree in trombone
performance from Arizona State University. He recently completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in conducting at Arizona State University.
Active as a guest conductor, adjudicator and clinician, Payne is also the author of several
literature and recording reviews that have been published in the International Trombone
Association Journal. Dr. Payne’s articles have also appeared in music education journals as well.
Eric Bable is pursuing the MM in conducting degree at YSU and is a student of Stephen Gage. As a euphonium player and pianist, Eric is an educator throughout northeast Ohio. Eric is currently a piano instructor at Motter’s Music and holds a private studio of instrumental students. Previous to attending YSU, Eric held the position of Director of Bands/ Choirs in the McDonald School District in McDonald, OH. He has also held positions as Assistant Band Director in both the Columbiana and Leetonia School Districts. Eric earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education in 2010 from Slippery Rock University, where his primary professors were Mechelle Hawk, Brian Meixner, James Berry, Stephen Barr, and Nanette Kaplan Solomon.
Eric’s primary responsibilities at YSU include assisting the director of the YSU Marching Pride, co-conducting the Basketball Bands, and guest conducting all three of the YSU concert bands as well as the Dana Chamber Winds.
Eric is active as a conductor, educator, and performer and is also a member of the Ohio Music Educators’ Association, Pennsylvania Music Educators’ Association, the International Tuba Euphonium Association, the Music Education National Conference, the Ohio Education Association, and the National Education Association.
Department of University Bands
Dana School of Music
Youngstown State University
One University Plaza
Youngstown, Ohio 44555