Dr. Steven Becraft currently serves as Professor of Clarinet and Saxophone at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas and is the recipient of the 2011 Ellis College Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. He is a member of the Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra and has also performed with the Arkansas Symphony. In 2011 Becraft performed Copland’s Appalachian Spring with the Martha Graham Dance Company in Conway, Arkansas. Previous orchestral positions include the Utah Festival Opera Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Reno Philharmonic, and the Northern Nevada Concert Orchestra.
Becraft is a member of The Storm Trio (Soprano, Clarinet, and Piano), an Arkansas Arts on Tour performing group. As a member of the David Maslanka Commissioning Consortium, Becraft gave one of the world premieres of the composer’s new work, Eternal Garden, in October 2009 and also was selected to perform this composition at the 2011 National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors conference in Gainesville, Florida. Additionally, he has performed at the International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest in 2014 (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), 2012 (Lincoln, Nebraska), and 2003 (Salt Lake City, Utah), and the 2004 National Association of Teachers of Singing national convention in New Orleans.
Before moving to Arkansas in 2001, Dr. Becraft taught at Troy University, the University of Nevada, Reno, and the San Francisco Community Music Center. He holds degrees from Florida State University (D.M.), the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (M.M.), and the University of Nevada, Reno (B.M.). His primary clarinet teachers include Frank Kowalsky, Rosario Mazzeo, David Ehrke, and Deborah Pittman. As a saxophonist, he has studied with Patrick Meighan and Mark Tulga.
He has taken additional lessons or performed in master classes with many notable clarinetists, including Luis Baez, Steven Barta, David Breeden, Don Carroll, Larry Combs, Greg Dufford, James Freeman, Stanley Hasty, Christie Lundquist, Mitchell Lurie, David Neuman, Richard Stoltzman, Dennis Smylie, and David Weber.