Central Ohio To Celebrate Life of Roger Stephens on June 13

Roger L. Stephens passed away last February in Knoxville, TN where he had been Director of the School of Music at the University of Tennessee since 2001.(Photo: University of Tennessee, Knoxville)
Roger L. Stephens passed away last February in Knoxville, TN where he had been Director of the School of Music at the University of Tennessee since 2001.(Photo: University of Tennessee, Knoxville)

Opera Columbus, The Columbus Light Opera, The School of Music at OSU – these are a few of the local arts organizations touched by Roger Stephens.

Roger served as Interim Director of the OSU School of Music and directed the opera department for many years (“our most successful opera days” opines one well placed faculty member.)

Mr. Stephens died last February in Knoxville, TN. He had been Director of the School of Music at the University of Tennessee since 2001.

He lived and worked elsewhere but I suspect the bulk of his formidable legacy as a teacher and performer will be felt in our community. In the weeks after his death, my in box was crammed with messages from his fans and former students who loved him.

I never met Roger Stephens. It touched me that people felt they could reach out to me. He was a bit before my time in Columbus. My loss.

Roger Stephens’s life will be celebrated on Monday, June 13th at 7.30 p.m. at Weigel Hall (map) on the Ohio State University campus. Fans of good music will want to be there.

OSU faculty Katherine Borst Jones, Karen Peeler, Tom Battenberg and Jeanne Norton will perform. The ceremonies will be led by the inimitable Eileen Davis (think Hyacinth Bouquet or the Queen) and the unstoppable David Weaver.

Members of the former Columbus Light Opera will perform scenes from The King and I, The Merry Widow and HMS Pinafore.

We are also promised a fountain of “Roger stories!”

A reception follows the concert. It will be a good night for music in Central Ohio.

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