Meet the Faculty

Stephen E. Caldwell

Stephen E. Caldwell

Assistant Professor, Director of Choral Activities

J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences

(MUSC)-Music

Phone: 479-575-3141

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Dr. Stephen Caldwell is the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Arkansas, a flagship program featuring six performing ensembles, a comprehensive Choral Music Education curriculum, and a rigorous Graduate Conducting program. He conducts both the nationally-renowned Schola Cantorum and Women’s Chorus. He teaches the undergraduate sequence in conducting technique, graduate conducting lessons, and the graduate sequence in Choral History and Literature. Since his arrival in 2012, he has twice been awarded the Associated Student Government's “Top 10 Most Outstanding Faculty Award” (2014-2015, 2016-2017), he has received “The Golden Tusk” from the Division of Student affairs for “going above and beyond, and helping to make campus life better for everyone,” and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette named Dr. Caldwell as one of 2017's “Top 10 Artistic People to Watch.”

Under his direction, the choirs at the University of Arkansas have grown tremendously. The Schola Cantorum was invited to perform at the 2015 Arkansas All-State Music Conference in Hot Springs, appeared as the Graduate Conducting Competition Choir at the 2016 SWACDA conference in Kansas City, and was invited to perform at the 2017 NCCO conference in Baton Rouge. Schola Cantorum has recently toured to Puerto Rico, Belgium, and Germany, and will travel to Serbia in 2019. UA choirs have recently collaborated with renowned composers Ola Gjeilo, Andrea Clearfield, and Stacey Gibbs. Graduates of the MM conducting program have gone on to notable public school and church music careers, and have been placed in distinguished doctoral programs.

Dr. Caldwell began his career as a public school teacher in Colorado. He continues his work with junior high and high school students by leading workshops with area choral programs and adjudicating choral festivals. He has conducted honor choirs at all levels, in 5 states. He has prepared choirs for many leading conductors and ensembles including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Delaware Symphony, Arkansas Philharmonic, and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. He has presented interest sessions at conferences of the American Choral Directors Association and the National Collegiate Choral Organization, was selected as a 2018 ACDA International Conducting Exchange Fellow in Kenya. 

Upcoming engagements include conducting the 2018 Arkansas All-Region 1 High School Treble Chorus, the 2019 Bucks County All-County Chorus (PA), and the 2019 Colorado All-State Mixed Choir. 

His original, award-winning compositions and arrangements have been performed throughout the world. His composition, “Since we loved,” is published in the NCCO Choral Series with ECS Music. Most recently he was lauded for the premiere of “Pre-Existing Condition,” a 20-min work for choir and instruments depicting the emotional journey of parents who have children born with congenital heart defects. The sold-out premiere received a 5-minute standing ovation, and the work was soon after featured by the Pediatric Congenital Heart Association. Other recent highlights include various performances by choirs at Seton Hill University, Lewis and Clarke College, Temple University, Florida State University, the Taipei Male Choir, Taiwan National Children’s Chorus, and the University of Arkansas.

Dr. Caldwell holds a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Northern Colorado, two Master of Music Degrees in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting from Temple University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rutgers University.

B.M.E., University of Northern Colorado
M.M., Temple University
D.M.A., Rutgers University