Steve Shanley

Steve Shanley, Ph.D.

Pearl M. Taylor Associate Professor of Music

Coordinator of Music Education; Director of Jazz Studies

Steve Shanley Headshot

Steve Shanley coordinates the music education and jazz studies at Coe College. He is also the music director and conductor of the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band, a professional ensemble that performs 20 concerts each year. Shanley previously spent 11 years teaching music in the Cedar Rapids Community School District, where groups under his direction earned more than 40 Division I ratings at orchestral, band and choral festivals and over 75 of his students were selected for Iowa All-State music ensembles. He has directed six groups in featured performances at the Iowa Bandmasters Association (IBA) conference (jazz band in 2006 and 2009 and concert band in 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2012), directed the Iowa All-State Jazz Band (2016), conducted a performance at the American School Band Directors convention (2014) and conducted at the prestigious Music For All National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, IN (2008). 

During his time in the public schools and at Coe College, Shanley has worked with more than 100 music student teachers and thousands of K-12 students in general music, orchestral, choral and band settings. Under his guidance, the Coe College Jazz Summit has become one of the nation’s largest educational jazz festivals, involving over 2,000 middle and high school students each year. Shanley is currently co-chair of the Iowa Jazz Championships, vice president of Jazz Educators of Iowa (JEI), director of the North Corridor All-Star Jazz Ensemble, director of the Coe College Junior Honor Band and an item writer for the ETS Praxis music examinations. In addition, he served as a reader for the College Board Advanced Placement Music Theory examination, president of the Northeast Iowa Bandmasters Association, founder of the Cedar Rapids Metro Youth Wind Ensemble and founding director and committee chair for the Corridor Jazz Project, which annually pairs professional jazz musicians with Eastern Iowa high school jazz bands for a CD recording and concert.

In addition to teaching, Shanley has an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator. Equally comfortable in orchestral, band and choral settings, he has directed dozens of honor ensembles, judged over 100 music festivals, presented at multiple music education conferences and given clinics to well over 200 middle and high school musical groups throughout the country. He has served as music director, pit orchestra conductor, pianist and vocal coach for over two dozen professional and amateur music theater productions. As an author, Shanley contributes to GIA’s Teaching Music Through Performance, was rhythm section editor for Hal Leonard’s The Latin Jazz Guidebook, reviews books for various scholarly journals and regularly writes columns for music education publications. He continues to work professionally as a pianist and is also in demand as a composer and arranger. Over 2,000 of his works have been performed by orchestras, bands and choirs throughout North America, Asia, South America and Europe, and his original compositions are published by C.L. Barnhouse Company and Magnolia Music Publications. Shanley is a member of the JEI Hall of Fame, was inducted into Sigma Alpha Iota as a National Arts Associate and was honored with the Iowa Bandmasters Association Karl King Distinguished Service Award. He holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Northern Iowa, master's degrees from the University of Minnesota and University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He resides in Cedar Rapids with his wife, Valerie, a middle school band director and professional hornist, and his children, Vivian and Evan.  

Visit Steve Shanley's personal website.