MSI Premiere Composer, Joseph Gentry-Stephens....

Joseph Gentry Stephens, born 1972 in San Angelo, Texas. Grew up in the city of Texarkana, Arkansas and began studying percussion in the public schools at the age of 10. After graduation, attended the University of Arkansas at Monticello where he met his wife, Leslie, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance. Went on to attend the University of Northern Colorado and earned a Master of Music in Choral Conducting. Upon returning to Arkansas, taught one semester in a small community college and then went on to two different Methodist Church music positions. In 2004, Joseph left his music positions behind to begin a career in the wood products industry at Bradley Lumber Company of Warren, Arkansas. His works have been performed throughout the United States as well as the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Indonesia, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, and South Korea. In 2004, ERM Media released, Masterworks of the New Era, Volume 3, on which The Gospel of Thomas, a work for mixed chorus, piano and strings, is featured and has received airplay on many public radio stations in the United States.

Joseph and Leslie have a son, Gentry Thomas Stephens, born February 8, 2002.

The musical style of Stephens is very minimalistic in its presentation on the page. Dynamics and other usual markings are intentionally omitted so that each work can evolve in its interpretation.