Pioneer Spotlight: Stephen Shepherd

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January 24, 2014
Stephen Shepherd

Stephen Shepherd

The GRAMMY Award presentation will air this Sunday, Jan. 26. The GRAMMY award, presented each year by The Recording Academy, is the recording industry’s most prestigious award. GRAMMYs are the only peer-presented award to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry without regard to album sales or chart position.

Stephen Shepherd, a senior lecturer of English Composition I and II at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, received an invitation to attend this year’s GRAMMYs, as his latest album, “Escape is not a Place,” spent 36 weeks in the Top 20 on the Roots Music Country Chart. Originally from Adrian, Mich., Shepherd is a country/folk singer-songwriter whose albums have been listed on music charts throughout the world. Shepherd has written 66 original songs and completed five albums. He is currently working on his sixth album, “Hammock Time,” with Catamount Recording Studio in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Shepherd has had top 10 hits in many countries and has been invited to the GRAMMY awards the last six years. He has also been accepted as a voting member of the GRAMMY Recording Academy.

What does it mean to you to be invited to the GRAMMYs?

It is an honor. Being invited to the GRAMMYs means that after a lifetime of writing music, it has surfaced as some of the best in the world.

How long have you been a singer/songwriter?

I started writing music when I was eight years old. My mother was a music teacher, so I was exposed to music and had an appreciation for it at a very young age.

What do you like most about teaching and how does your songwriting tie in with your teaching of English composition?

I truly enjoy helping beginning college students. Thus far, I have used my music to exemplify narration, description and figurative language.

What do you like most about being a singer/songwriter?

I enjoy the challenge and journey of creating something that did not exist. I have had top 10 hits in many countries, including Ireland, France, Poland, Australia, Italy and the United States. I think this shows that my music transcends cultural boundaries and strikes a human chord. As a writer, that’s a wonderful feeling.

Interview conducted by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education.
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