Performed at my junior recital
Backing tracks courtesy of Wiek Hijmans
Performed at my junior recital
With Nick Johnson on Cajon
Stephan Laboy was born in Lincoln Nebraska in 1993. His parents, who insisted he take piano lessons, exposed him to music at an early age. This would lay the foundation for his musical development. At age 12 he began playing the guitar. He stayed active in public school music. By high school, music had become an integral part of his life. He played guitar in the high school jazz band and in a local rock band. He played tuba in the high school concert band and violin in the orchestra. He sang in the choir and made it to all-state his junior year. His senior year he was a drum major for the band of over 100. This ignited a love of conducting. All of this exposure and experience only fueled his excitement for music.
Shortly before going to college he took up classical guitar. Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS is where he began his college career. He participated in several ensembles and wrestled on the college team. While at Bethany College, he grew as a musician and was awarded the Baber scholarship for being the top musician, by choice of the faculty, in his class. After a semester in Kansas he transferred to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.
After his first year at UNL he had an audition with an Army band and won the audition. Within a few months he was away at basic training. His superiors realized his motivation and competency and put him in charge of the platoon. He went on to become the Distinguished Honor Graduate in his company of over 200. Due to an unforeseen medical issue that was a result of a wrestling injury, he could not fulfill his obligation with the Army band. However, he still serves in the National Guard and in 2014 was named the Nebraska National Guard Soldier of the Year. In 2016 he made the rank of Sergeant.
He would go on to finish his studies at UNL. He studied jazz with his professor, Dr. Peter Bouffard. He also studied classical guitar with Hadley Heavin in Omaha, NE.
His experience with church music began in 2014 when he was awarded a position at First United Methodist Church of Lincoln. Under the direction of Mr. Brent Shaw, Stephan would organize and lead the music for the youth group. In 2015 he left First Methodist to become the director at Prairie View United Methodist church of Lincoln. It was around this time that he started working for the Salvation Army at the Shield Fine Arts Academy. There he leads group guitar lessons for many who would not otherwise have the opportunity to formally learn music. His talent has not gone unnoticed in the Salvation Army, where he has been a guest soloist and frequently teaches at the Divisional level. He was also recently named the co-director of the Shield Brass Band, a competition level brass band based in the Salvation Army.
In 2016, he accepted his current post as the music director of Evangelical Covenant Church of Lincoln. There he oversees all music matters in the large congregation and conducts the Chancel Choir. He still continues his private studies of music and conducting with Dr. Jeffrey McCray from UNL.