Sydney Stevens began writing melodies on the piano before she could reach the pedals. Her earliest memory was watching her mother play classical piano. She began piano lessons at the age of 8, and started composing shortly thereafter. The early years of composing took Sydney through a folk music phase, where her rhythmic poetry easily lent itself to song. Following this phase, a period of composing lyrical New Age piano music emerged in Juneau, Alaska. It was here, away from commercial influences, that she developed a sound uniquely her own. In the late 1980's, Sydney relocated to Southern California where she finished her formal training in music composition at the University of Redlands. During this time, she also studied classical composition in York, England and with Bill Douglas in Boulder, Colorado.
After completing her formal musical studies, Sydney returned to the Pacific Northwest and recorded her debut CD "Dancers in the Rain." This album was recorded at White Horse Studios in Portland, Oregon. Primarily piano-based, it also features Jeff Leonard on bass guitar, Phil Baldino on flute, Tim Ellis on guitar and Brian Davis on percussion. “Dancers in the Rain” was co-produced by Bob Stark.
Sydney composed "Seasons Suite", on her second CD entitled "Seasons" while residing in Eastern Oregon. This series of pieces takes the listener on a musical journey through the cycle of seasons. From the serene "Snow", which portrays the snow covered wheat fields of Eastern Oregon, to her playful "Sparrow's Song"
which captures the morning chatter of birds in early spring through musical dialogue. “Seasons Suite" features Mitch Iimori on English horn, oboe and guitar. The album also features Phil Baker on bass guitar and Valerie Day on percussion. This past year, Mitch and Sydney delighted the audience with selections from Seasons Suite as part of the Crazy Jane concert in Portland featuring women composers of the Cascadia chapter of NACUSA. Videos of their performance can be viewed on Youtube (Sydney Stevens, Seasons). Sydney has also recently transcribed Season Suite for Orchestra and Oboe/English Horn. A recent performance of this by the Columbia Gorge Sinfonietta directed by Mark Steighner was enjoyed by all!
Sydney's third album, "Portraits" maintains her strong melodic lines, with more developed orchestrations around the piano-based songs. It is a compilation of original songs inspired by people.
Currently, Sydney is working on networking with the film soundtrack market which is a natural fit for her music.