Stephen Kehner joined the Oregon Symphony as Assistant Principal Percussion in September 2020. Prior to his arrival in Portland, Stephen spent the 2018-19 season as Acting Section Percussion with the Utah Symphony & Opera in Salt Lake City. Before that appointment, he was a Percussion Fellow with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach for three years. Stephen has also performed as a guest musician for the symphonies of Atlanta, Vancouver (B.C.), Eugene, Tallahassee, the Boston Philharmonic, and the Malaysian Philharmonic. A recent highlight came in 2018 when he went on tours with both the St. Louis Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Stephen grew up in Marietta, Georgia, and earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Florida State University, where he studied with Dr. John Parks. He went on to obtain a Master of Music degree and Graduate Diploma in Performance from the New England Conservatory, while studying with Boston Symphony musicians Dan Bauch and Will Hudgins. His education was complemented by summer fellowships at the Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, and the Texas Music Festival.
In addition to performing with the OSO, Stephen enjoys teaching percussionists of all ages, both online and in-person. He has been an instructor for summer music camps, high school marching bands, youth orchestras, and university percussion departments. In his roles as a teacher and performer, Stephen is a proud endorser of Zildjian Cymbals and Freer Percussion Products.