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Stephen Tefft

Stephen exhibited his creative talents very early. Stephen tried out for and won a place in the All City Boys Choir when he was only in 2nd grade (one of their youngest members). He and his sisters used to do skits and sing songs at home for their family. He used to listen and sing to John Denver songs with the rest of his family growing up. He knew most of them by heart (the songs and his family). He wrote poetry, sang in his high school choir and acted in their annual play.

Stephen bought his first guitar at age 19, it was a steel string with stiff action, certainly not worth the $50 price in hind-sight. He gave it away to someone else. His real first guitar was a nylon string (acquired at the same time as his baritone ukelele which he still has). He is completely self-taught. Stephen was in band in high school but played snare drum. He can plunk out a song pretty well on a piano, especially in light of the fact that he never received any piano instruction (like all his sisters did, but he's not bitter ;-) ).

Stephen continued in choir and cantoring at church, playing and singing music for the evening party/break-time at Choices Weekends (retreats for single young-adults) and other Pro Sanctity gatherings. His song, Middle America, won an Honorable Mention award in a 1996 National Songwriters' Contest. He also won 2nd place in a song writing contest in the Avoca Folk Festival held annually in Avoca, Iowa.

Stephen has started two other small music groups, Lost Sheep (now dis-banded due to one member getting married who now has two children and no time to sing on street corners and coffee houses and the other member who chose to follow other pursuits such as finishing his doctorate in bio-chemistry and entering medical school) and Background Noise (which performs sporadically depending on when they can get gigs and his sister, who sings with him, can find time due to her busy job as an elementary school math teacher). Ah, wasn't life easier when we were young and care-free. :-)

Stephen and his sister, Jen, also lead a rag-tag, never-say-die, give-it-your-all, the-show-must-go-on family theater troupe, Penquin Players, which has in its repertoire, all originially-written, full length plays/Bible skits/Silly Songs/Even Sillier Skits like "The Wedding", "Experimental Theatre" and "The Only Bench in the Park" series.

Stephen's dream, along with that of his family (and close friends) is to be able to start a family theatre where people could come to be entertained, have crafts for the entire family with season-specific events, a place where young and older but young-at-heart people could come to try out and find if they have talents at acting, singing, song/skit-writing, costume-making,.... No one is turned away for lack of talent .... just come and see a couple of their skits. JUST KIDDING! ;-

Stephen also can play harmonica, accordion (a little), slide whistle. He also draws well, can make a very nice looking small clay sculpture, has written almost 400 songs, knows all the words to the Lumberjack song and most of the Dead Parrot sketch from Monty Python, prefers Marx Brothers over the Stooges, milk chocolate over dark chocolate, chocolate sauce over vanilla ice cream (meaning chocolate sauce WITH vanilla ice cream), content over style, self-deprecation over self-aggrandizement, ummmm, what was I talking about? Oh yes, I remember now. 42

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