Meet the Faculty

Stephen E. Caldwell

Stephen E. Caldwell

Assistant Professor, Director of Choral Activities

J. William Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences


Phone: 479-575-3141

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Dr. Stephen Caldwell is the Director of Choral Activities at the University of Arkansas, a flagship institution 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 80-voice Women’s Chorus. He also 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 performed at the 2015 Arkansas All-State Music Conference in Hot Springs, was invited to serve as the Graduate Conducting Competition Choir at the 2016 SWACDA conference in Kansas City, and this year has been selected for performance at the 2017 NCCO conference in Baton Rouge. Schola Cantorum has recently toured to Puerto Rico, Belgium and Germany, and his choirs have collaborated with renowned composers Ola Gjeilo, Andrea Clearfield, and Stacey Gibbs. Graduates of his 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, adjudicating choral festivals and conducting honor choirs at all levels. 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 and is an active member of both service communities. This year, he has been asked to present a session on conducting technique at the 2017 AR-ACDA Summer Conference in Little Rock, and will present a session on “Maximizing Rehearsal Efficiency” at the 2018 SWACDA Conference in Oklahoma City.

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, and his “You are here” will be included in the 2017 Pennsylvania ACDA reading packet. In March of 2017 he was awarded a summer research stipend from the J.W. Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences to compose a new extended work for chorus and instruments that depicts the struggle of children born with congenital heart defects. The work is slated for a March 2018 premiere. 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, a French Language Certification from the University of Paris – Sorbonne, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rutgers University.