Roberta M. Stephen is part of a musical family from Southern Alberta. She holds a MA in voice from the University of North Texas, and a B. Mus. in composition from the University of Calgary. She received the highest award for her ARCT from the Royal Conservatory of Music and her A. Mus. from the Western Board of Music (Conservatory Canada). Throughout her teaching career Roberta’s students have been consistent award winners at the local, provincial and national levels and many former students teach and perform professionally.
As a composer, Roberta is best known for her vocal works for children, her song cycles and her vocal chamber music for professionals. She was one of four composers chosen for the first National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Art Song competition. Her music has been performed throughout North America, including New York City where “The Eye of the Seasons” for voice, piano and clarinet received critical acclaim. This work was commissioned by New Works Calgary for the opening of the Eckhardt Gramatté Hall in the Rozsa Centre at the University of Calgary. Many of Roberta’s compositions are listed in the voice, piano and strings syllabi of major examining boards in Canada.
Roberta is the past president and past owner of Alberta Keys Music Publishing, past president of New Works Calgary and the founder of Contemporary Showcase in Calgary. She was instrumental in establishing the first Canadian chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.
In 2014, the Canadian Music Centre Prairie Region with the support of NATS Calgary, the Alberta Registered Music Teachers Association Calgary Chapter and the Rozsa Foundation held a tribute concert featuring compositions by Roberta Stephen and the Alberta Keys published composer Alan Gordon Bell. At this concert, the Roberta Stephen Composition Scholarship supporting Canadian Women Composers was announced. Six awards of the Roberta Stephen Composition Scholarship of $500 have been given, the winners determined by an adjudication panel chosen by the Association of Canadian Women Composers.
Roberta has been honoured by the Alberta Registered Music Teachers Association with a recognition award, by NATS with Emeritus status, and by the Prairie Region of the Canadian Music Centre for promoting the music of Canadian composers. Most recently, she was appointed an “Honourary Life Member” of the ACWC as well as receiving the “Violet Archer Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Canadian Music Centre, Prairie Region.