Gerald Steichen to address NOC graduates May 4

Ponca City Now - April 22, 2019 4:07 pm

TONKAWA — World-renowned musician, conductor, and accompanist Gerald Steichen will address candidates for graduation at Northern Oklahoma College commencement exercises May 4.

NOC Tonkawa candidates, joined by NOC Stillwater candidates, will begin exercises in the Foster-Piper Fieldhouse on the Tonkawa campus at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 4.

That same day NOC Enid candidates will enter Briggs Auditorium on the Enid campus at 3 p.m.

Pinning ceremonies for graduates from the NOC nursing program will take place May 3-4. In Stillwater the ceremony begins at 7 p.m. Friday, May 3, in the NOC Stillwater Classroom Building Commons.  On the Tonkawa campus, the ceremony is set for noon Saturday, May 4, in the Kinzer Performing Arts Center. The Enid ceremony takes place at 6 p.m. May 4, in Briggs Auditorium.

Steichen was born in Tonkawa, graduated from Tonkawa High School and Northern Oklahoma College.

Steichen’s father, Bob, served as director of counseling and taught band and psychology at NOC for 21 years. The entire Steichen family, Jerry and his five siblings, all attended NOC. 

While a student, Steichen sang, danced, played multiple instruments in Roustabouts, was named Outstanding Drama Student and Outstanding Male Scholar and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in accounting.

He continued his education at Oklahoma City University, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in piano performance.   Steichen made his professional debut with Tulsa Opera, conducting performances of Mozart’s The Magic Flute in student matinees. He was the first music director of the Tulsa Opera studio.

He holds the Master of Music degree in accompanying from the University of Southern California, attended the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and was chosen for the prestigious Merola program of the San Francisco Opera, touring Madama Butterfly for a year with the Western Opera Theater.

Steichen has conducted the Boston Pops, the Hong Kong Philharmonic and appeared on NBC’s Today Show and ABC’s Good Morning, America.

He has performed at New York City’s Lincoln Center and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.  Steichen toured nationally with The King and I, The Phantom of the Opera, The Secret Garden and Peter Pan and conducted Cats on Broadway in New York City for two years.

He appeared on Broadway, portraying Manny, the accompanist, in the Tony Award-winning Master Class in a cast led by the late Dixie Carter.

In 2004, he was named an NOC Distinguished Alumnus. Steichen continues to produce and conduct the NOC Gala Concert, now in its 24th incarnation.  This much-beloved event features a full symphony orchestra, NOC’s talented fine arts faculty and students, and guest artists from around the world in a celebration of the healing power and inspiration the arts brings to all.

Steichen currently divides his time between Tonkawa, New York City, and other places around the world.


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