I Have Received the "2018 Couples' Choice Award" from Wedding Wire!

WeddingWire2018.png

I'm excited to announce that I have received the "2018 Couples' Choice Award" from Wedding Wire! This is the fourth year in a row that I've received this reward and I want to give a huge shout out to each of the amazing couples that were not only a pleasure to work with this past year, but also took the time to leave me a great review!

I'm looking forward to this new year and am excited to see what new joys and challenges it brings. Each couple is unique and I enjoy customizing their wedding music to reflect their personality and vision.This year, we played everything from weddings full of classic elegance to weddings rocking with Colorado country charm. Here's to another great year!

I Won the 2016 Wedding Wire Couples' Choice Award!

I want to extend a big thanks to all of my clients who reviewed me this past year. Because of you, I am privileged to once again receive the Wedding Wire Best of 2016 Couples' Choice Award, which means I have been selected as one of the top 5% of wedding service providers in the country. It was an amazing year, and you my clients are a big part of what makes my job so wonderful. I'm looking forward to another great year playing music and doing what I love.

Christen Stephens, Flutist and Cellist, Duos, Trios, Quartets Reviews
 

Our France Vacation

Bonjour! My husband and I are recently back from a wonderful "holiday" in France. The people we so nice, the food was fabulous, and it was green and beautiful, although we paid for that greenery with unusual amounts of rain. We visited the Burgundian countryside, Paris, and Strasbourg, enjoying cathedrals, chateaus, gardens, local shops, and even caves. We particularly enjoyed small town life in the countryside, waking up to the birds singing, the hourly tolling of the church bell, and the routines of the locals who would walk or bike to the store every morning to buy fresh baguettes. The food was amazing, and we enjoyed the French favorites - baguettes, quiche, cured meats, strong cheeses, fruit, chocolate, wine, sparkling water, and espresso (un petit cafe). A wisteria covered arbor at the gardens in Apremont, France

Half-timbered houses in the "Petite France" section of Strasburg, France

Cute clothes in a shop window in Avallon, France

A Patisserie in Paris, France

Aboretum Du Balaine Monks singing in a cathedral in Velizy, France

Fields of blooming mustard in the Burgundy countryside

Strasbourg, France Paris, France

View of Strasbourg, France from the top of the cathedral

Roses and Clematis covering the side of a home in Apremont, France

Cathedral at Moulin, France

The gardens at Apremont, France

Au revoir!

Welcome to my New Website Design!

After a month of experiencing technical difficulties on my website and being hacked by a Russian company selling suspicious name brand accessories, I’m happy to announce that I’m up and running again, and with a fresh new look. I want to extend a huge thanks to my friends who helped me in this endeavor – you know who you are! So take a look around and enjoy!

Boulder Symphony Orchestra Concert

Brahms
Brahms

I play the cello with the Boulder Symphony Orchestra and am pleased to announce our upcoming performance: The Boulder Symphony Orchestra along with the Cherry Creek Chorale presents the Brahms Requiem conducted by Devin Hughes on May 18th and 19th. Soloists are soprano Teresa Castillo and baritone Thomas Fitzpatrick Kittle. The concert also features the world premiere performance of “Inter” by Austin Wintory. Tickets are $15. Join us for a wonderful evening of music on one of the following days:

Friday, May 18th at 7:00pm, First Presbyterian Church, Boulder Saturday, May 19th at 7:30, Bethany Lutheran Church, Denver

Mementos from my Musical Journey

Newspaper article featuring Bob Dole's address to Wingate University Grads, Wingate, North Carolina
Newspaper article featuring Bob Dole's address to Wingate University Grads, Wingate, North Carolina

A few days ago I was digging through my "memory box" and came across various newspaper clippings and other similar items that reminded me of past musical experiences. I hope you enjoy looking at these mementos from my musical journey.

I was in middle school when I had the privilege of playing for the 1995

Wingate University

 Commencement, with Bob Dole as guest speaker. I played flute along with the Wingate Symphonic Band, of which I had been a member for a year.

Spring Lecture Series Program from Wingate University featuring an address by Madeleine Albright in Wingate, North Carolina
Spring Lecture Series Program from Wingate University featuring an address by Madeleine Albright in Wingate, North Carolina

Here is the program and ticket for another concert that I played with the Wingate Symphonic Band. This time Madeleine Albright gave the address.

Spring Lecture Series Ticket from Wingate University featuring an address by Madeleine Albright in Wingate, North Carolina
Spring Lecture Series Ticket from Wingate University featuring an address by Madeleine Albright in Wingate, North Carolina

This is an article written about a concert given by the Charlotte Flute Choir in honor one of my former flute teachers, Irene Maddox. Her husband was the director of the flute choir until he passed away a few years later. I played in the Charlotte Flute Choir for six years, but only had the advantage of being Irene's student for a few months before she passed away.

Newspaper article featuring concert given by the Charlotte Flute Choir honoring the passing of Irene Maddox
Newspaper article featuring concert given by the Charlotte Flute Choir honoring the passing of Irene Maddox
Newspaper article featuring concert given by the Charlotte Flute Choir honoring the passing of Irene Maddox
Newspaper article featuring concert given by the Charlotte Flute Choir honoring the passing of Irene Maddox

This is the summer 2002 edition of the Flutist Quarterly featuring my flute teacher of six years, Mark Thomas. The Flutist Quarterly is the official magazine of the National Flute Association, which was founded by Mark Thomas. Mr. Thomas was kind enough to sign my copy of the magazine.

Summer 2002 Edition of the Flutist Quarterly featuring founder of the National Flute Association, Mark Thomas
Summer 2002 Edition of the Flutist Quarterly featuring founder of the National Flute Association, Mark Thomas
Article from newspaper featuring 2004 campaign ball given by Sue Myrick
Article from newspaper featuring 2004 campaign ball given by Sue Myrick

Left: This is an article about Sue Myrick's 2004 campaign ball, and if you look for the star, you will see our flute and harp duo, "Jubal" mentioned.

Below: This is a page from "Skirt!" magazine featuring my music business.

Article from Skirt! Magazine featuring Christen Neumann Stephens
Article from Skirt! Magazine featuring Christen Neumann Stephens

Vivace Strings Upcoming Appearances

As the instructor of the USCHAP string ensemble, Vivace Strings, I would like to invite you to come and hear our upcoming performances. We have a great lineup for the spring season:
Downtown Monroe Spring Art Walk -  Friday, April 15, 2011 (6pm at First Baptist on Main & 7:30pm at the Loft, 211 N. Main St.) - free admission
Red Cross Rhapsody in Red Charity Ball - Saturday, May 7, 2011 6–7pm
Waxhaw Women’s Club Benefit for Loaves & Fishes - Friday, May 13, 2011
Waxhaw Spring Fest - Saturday, May 14, 2011 10am
New South Music Festival - Saturday, May 21, 2011 (Pre-concert and dinner music)

Vivace Strings Plays at Deer Stone Lodge

Vivace Strings will be playing at Deer Stone Lodge, home of Dr. and Mrs. George Pinsak, for the Dream Home Open House on Saturday, November 6th 2010. This is 120 acre custom built Montana style estate has magnificent panoramic views from 148 over-sized windows. The tour also includes collector automobiles in a porte-cochère, a garden, and green houses. Home baked refreshments, mulled wine and punch will be served. The open house will go from 2:00pm until 6:00pm, and Vivace Strings will play for approximately one hour beginning at 3:30. Shuttle service will be provided from the parking lot at Sunset Dr. and Hayne St. in Monroe. Admission (adults only) is $25, and the proceeds will benefit the Union Symphony.

Vivace Strings Plays at “Art Walk” in downtown Monroe

The string ensemble that I lead, Vivace Strings, did an hour long performance Friday, October 1st at the Art Walk  in downtown Monroe. The Art Walk is a venue for local artists to display and sell their art at various galleries in the downtown area. Vivace Strings played in the Loft, which is a great open space with excellent acoustics. They did a great job and were received very well. I filled in on the cello and had a great time playing with the group I normally lead. It lent me a whole new perspective, and was also a lot of fun.

Vivace Strings Performs For UCCAC Breakfast For the Arts

Vivace Strings Performs For UCCAC Breakfast For the Arts
Vivace Strings Performs For UCCAC Breakfast For the Arts

Union Symphony Youth Chamber Players Vivace Strings performed on Thursday, September 23, 2010 at the Union County Community Arts Council Breakfast For the Arts, a benefit held at Rolling Hills Country Club which showcased the arts. This was the second public appearance of this ensemble. They also performed at Union Symphony League Tea and Tables held on Saturday, September 18, 2010 (shown above). Vivace Strings plans a full season of performances which will include Art Walk in Downtown Monroe on Friday, October 1 and a lobby performance at the Union Symphony Orchestra Opening Concert Bravo! Beethoven on Sunday, October 10, 2010. Hope that you can come out to see this mega talented group of student musicians! - From the Union Symphony

USCHAP Vivace String Ensemble is photographed on the lovely porch of the Carlson Environmental Center (Union Symphony League Tea and Tables). The students are (L to R) John O'Keefe (double bass), Bryan Gobey (double bass), Sam Gibbons (cello), Olivia George (lead violin), Isabelle Young (violin),Taryn Miller (violin), Adam Webster (violin), Olivia Morris (viola).

USCHAP (Union Symphony Youth Chamber Players) – Vivace Strings

I am excited to be coaching the USCHAP’s advanced string ensemble, Vivace Strings, this year. They are a talented group of musicians and a lot of fun to work with. The group currently consists of nine players who also play with the USYO. Vivace Strings has several upcoming performances, culminating in a performance at the USYO winter concert. Other performances this year will be at the Union Symphony League’s “Tea and Tables”, the UCCAC’s (Union County Community Arts Council’s) “Breakfast For the Arts”, the Downtown Art Walk, the Union Symphony League’s “Dream Home Open House” and at the Waxhaw Woman’s Club concert.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteer to help the Charlotte Piano Teacher’s Forum with the Concerto Auditions or the Solo Auditions and receive lots of volunteer hours for school and the satisfaction of helping the music community.  Let me know if you would like to volunteer or have any questions about what it involves.