Barbara Anne Bond Steiner

1944 -

Barbara Steiner, a pianist, organist, singer, and music theorist and composer, has taught music for over fifty years. For 35 of those years she taught all levels in the Seventh-day Adventist school system.

Barbara was born in Lebanon, Oregon, and raised in Eugene, the eldest of five children of Balf W. and Doris A. Philpott Bond (Baker). Both parents were amateur musicians and music was a central activity in the home involving everyone, as Barbara described recently:

My father, a cornet player, was part of the Oregon State University marching band that was supposed to play in the Rose Bowl in the year that Pearl Harbor was bombed. My mother played trombone and as result of their interest and involvement in music, all five of us started piano lessons at an early age and learned to play other instruments as well. My brother Dennis and I were singing in church, at evangelistic meetings, and parties from our earliest years.

When we were children and traveling in the car we sang old secular favorites as well as choruses and Sabbath School songs. My brothers would sing the melody, and my mother and I would sing the harmony while my father whistled. Even now as we recall that time, a favorite memory for all of us is traveling home from junior camp and teaching our parents the new choruses we had learned there.

When I was about ten, my mother and I would sit down at the piano and play duets after we had cleaned the house or finished some project. Later, after we had an organ in the home, we played duets on the two instruments, taking turns on the instruments. This was our "reward " for having finished our work!

While all of the children were active in music, Barbara would be the only one to pursue music as a career. She started piano lessons at age six and continued with them for the next twelve years. When she was twelve, she played for her first wedding, an experience that happened by default:

A couple who had emigrated from Germany as children had fallen in love and wanted to get married but could not afford a wedding. A woman in the Eugene church contacted several persons in the church who were all unable to do a service. Finally, she decided they would have a service in her home and came to my mother and wondered if I could play the piano. My mother checked with my teacher, who thought that I could do it and prepared me with appropriate music. And that is how I played my first wedding at age twelve. I have since played for countless weddings and funerals as both an organist and pianist.

Barbara studied violin for a short while with Gwendolen Lampshire Hayden, noted violinist and author, beginning at age eight, and also became a reasonably capable clarinetist.

From her earliest years, she knew she was going to be a music educator and started teaching piano at age sixteen while attending Laurelwood Academy in Oregon during her last two years in high school. From that beginning until the present time she has maintained piano studios of varying sizes.

After graduating from Laurelwood in 1962, she attended Walla Walla College, now University, for three years, where she pursued a degree in organ, studying with Richard Randolf and Melvin West. Barbara then transferred to Columbia Union College, now Washington Adventist University, where she took organ from Donald Vaughn and completed a music degree in 1967.

During her time at CUC, she was an organist at St. Dominic's Cathedral in Washington, D.C., where President Lyndon B. Johnson and his daughter Lucy worshipped. She enrolled at Andrews University in 1967 and started work on a master's degree, studying organ with C. Warren Becker.

In 1968 she began teaching at Georgia-Cumberland Academy in Georgia, where she taught for the next three years. She met Ernest D. Steiner, a music graduate of Southern Missionary College, now Southern Adventist University, at AU and they married in 1971.

The Steiners then resided in Battle Creek, Michigan, where, starting in the fall of 1973, she taught classroom music in sixth through eighth grades and directed two choirs at Battle Creek Academy for the next three years. She also served as organist at the Battle Creek Tabernacle, taught lessons privately, and accompanied the Battle Creek Tabernacle Singers, a sixteen-member professional choir that Ernest conducted.

During this time she resumed graduate study and completed an M.A. in theory and composition in 1975, the first woman to do so at AU. Years earlier when she had taken second year theory at WWC under Blythe Owen, Owen had told her she should consider composing music. When Barbara enrolled at AU, Owen, who was now teaching there, again urged her to pursue theory and composition. She and Hans-Jørgen Holman were her major professors.

The Steiners moved to Oregon in 1983, where she taught classroom music and directed music groups at Emerald Junior Academy. While at EJA, her 26-member sixth grade choir was invited to sing at the opening of the Oregon State Legislature in Salem in 1991.

They moved to Dallas, Texas, in 1991, where she had a private studio and was a substitute teacher at Burton Adventist and Dallas Junior academies. In 1994, they moved to Reno, Nevada, where she again had a private studio and taught classroom music, K-8, and led the band, two choirs and a recorder group at Reno Junior Academy.

In 1998, the Steiners moved to Southern California, where she started teaching as an adjunct faculty member in piano proficiency at La Sierra University in 2000. She later related how she became the teacher of composition, counterpoint, and orchestration classes:

When I had been at La Sierra for a time, I went to music chair Dr. Barbara Favorito and said to her, "You haven't taught composition here since Perry Beach. We need to have a composition class again since there is a lot of student talent here. She asked me to show her what I had done.

So I brought her some of my original compositions and arrangements. She took the matter to the faculty and they voted to offer composition as an elective class. We were able to present some really fine recitals of works the students had written.

Although she retired from teaching at LSU in 2007, Steiner maintains a private studio in Corona, where she and her husband reside.

In addition to teaching, she has served as an organist in Adventist churches wherever they have lived and in every other denomination excepting those that don't include music in their services. Following some leg injuries and a knee replacement in 2005, she was unable to continue as an organist.

Their daughters, Julie and Jaime, are active in music, both having had piano, clarinet, and violin lessons when children. She and her daughter Jaime frequently play piano duets and have often opened recitals of Barbara's students as duo pianists, helping her students to relax by not being in the position of getting the recital underway. Julie, a soprano, is occasionally active as a singer and was the lead singer in a family quartet with Jaime, Barbara, and Ernest singing alto, tenor, and bass, respectively.



Source: Information provided by Barbara Steiner, September 2011 and interview, February15, 2012; NPUC Gleaner, 12 February 1962, 3; 5 August 1991, 13; 14 December 1992, 30; Southern Tidings, October 1968, 18; Lake Union Herald, 5 November 1974.


Music by Barbara Bond Steiner



Sonatina, 1968, Andrews University composition class. First performance, April 1968, composer; February 8, 2003, Jennifer Davis, LSU ; March 29, 2006, Holly Ratkovic, LSU; February 11, 2007, Jungwon Jin, LSU Faculty Recital.

Smilin' Keys, October 2003, ragtime piano.

Twelve Inventions, 2005, a set of short inventions composed while teaching counterpoint at LSU.

Dreaming, May 2011.

Danza, December 2011.



Supplication, February 1968, mezzo soprano vocal solo, words by Peter Marshall.

Take the Name of Jesus With You, composer, D. Clydesdale, Fall 1987, arrangement for four-part choral group.

I've never been this Homesick Before, composer, Dottie Rambo, April 1990, arranged for ladies trio.

Supplication, November 1999, ladies trio (response), words by Peter Marshall.

Prayer for a Nation, April 2003. LSU Choral groups, April and June 2003, an arrangement of three patriotic songs: My Country 'Tis of Thee, God Bless America, and America the Beautiful.

Alleluia, April 2005, male quartet, prayer response.



4 in Fourths, January 2003, LSU Saxophone Quartet, May 11, 2003.

Suite for Clarinet (three movements), April 2003.

Melody, May 2003, solo violin with piano.

String Quartet, Fall 2003.

Father of Lights, composer, Alfred Scott-Gatty (1847-1918), orchestration, October 2004.

Soliloquy, March 2007, Trio for harp, cello, and piano, composed for and performed by the Waworoendeng family in the summer of 2007.

Fire And Ice, December 2011, for percussion and piano.