Steve Thomas leads the Amherst Symphony Orchestra into his seventeenth season and the orchestra's 68th in 2013-2014 as Conductor and Music Director. Years ago he began his teaching career developing the high school orchestra programs in Williamsville and Amherst. Steve has retired from public school teaching and with his wife Martha is now residing in their new home in Fillmore, NY, now finding themselves caring for herds of deer and flocks of turkeys on the farm.
Steve and Martha were first drawn to the Southern Tier when they began the Vivace String Camp at Houghton College in the summer of 2005. They fell in love with the beautiful Genesee River Valley and bought property near Houghton soon after. They designed and built their new home working with local craftsman.
Since moving to Allegany County Steve has become Music Director and Concertmaster of the Wellsville Performing Arts Orchestra, a community orchestra performing regularly in the David Howe Library. He conducts the orchestra from the Conncertmaster's chair and Martha serves as the Principal Second Violinist. They both also play regularly with the Southern Tier Symphony as well as supplementing the Houghton College Philharmonia. They have both taught classes at Alfred University and are involved with developing satellite string programs in the area.
Engagements as violinist with the BPO and at Shea's Performing Arts Center, in addition to his duties conducting weekly rehearsals and producing ASO concerts mean that Steve continues his work as a performing artist in Buffalo. He also continues to conduct All-County and All State student festival orchestras and does a significant amount of piano accompanying.
Steve joined the Amherst Symphony family in 1979, when, at the advice of his teaching supervisor, Frank Del Russo, he joined the ASO violin section. At the time, Steve had a young family with daughter Sara and son Ed, with Chris on the way. During the three years that he played, Dr. Joseph Wincenc became a vocal supporter of Steve's musicianship. From here, he came to also be recognised by the BPO, Shea's, Artpark, etc. Steve also learned the art of strolling, working six nights a week at Justine's in the then Buffalo Hilton while persuing his Master's degree in Violin Performance at U.B. To now be the leader of the ASO and so widely identified by this post is truly coming full circle.
Steve and Martha enjoy hosting their family in their new home, which includes their five children and four grandchildren. He is an active private pilot, flying a Cessna 150 out fo Perry Warsaw Airport. Walking, bike riding and riding the tractor are hopefully happening every day.