Steven Martin

1959 - 

Steven (Steve) Martin is band director, physical education teacher, and vice-principal at North Shore Adventist Academy in Chicago, Illinois. An accomplished musician, who plays numerous instruments, he is an award-winning teacher. He received a Zapara Excellence in Teaching Award in 1992, and was listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers in 1992, 1998, 2002, and 2005. He was also listed as one of the National Honor Roll's Outstanding American Teachers in 2006.

Steve was born in Gainesville, Florida, the older of two sons born to Gordon Martin and Pat Kaufmann, both of whom were singers.  He started lessons on the banjo at age ten and then studied guitar with his maternal grandmother who was an accomplished guitarist. He attended Forest Lake Academy in Florida, for two years where he studied trumpet with Pat Silver and played in her band then transferred to Georgia-Cumberland Academy in Georgia, where he played in the band under William Chunestudy, an experience that inspired Steve to become a band director.

Following graduation from GCA in 1977, he enrolled as a music major at Southern Adventist University with guitar as his major performance area. After three years he added a physical education major and graduated in 1982 with Bachelor degrees in both music and physical education. In 1990 he received a master's degree in music education from VanderCook College of Music.

Martin began teaching in Chicago at North Shore Junior Academy in 1983, now North Shore Adventist Academy, where he currently continues into his thirtieth year there.  He is also a recording artist who has performed on eighteen different instruments (part of a collection of over thirty instruments he owns) on six CD's. In addition to his teaching, Steve has played in various groups, such as the Lake Shore & Elmhurst Symphonies (cello), Festival of Praise Brass (trumpet), Horner Park Jazz Band (trombone), Kings of Dixieland (banjo), Celtic & bluegrass bands (banjo, mandolin, guitar, tin whistle), and the Shamrock Ragsters, a group that plays bluegrass, Celtic/Irish, and Dixieland jazz. The last group was organized in 2012 to give a benefit concert for the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago as a thank you for their work in helping his daughter, Kathy, survive brain concer.

Martin also performed on eight of the Voice of Prophecy Family Reunion videos on nine different instruments. These performances have been broadcast worldwide on various television stations. Most recently he played as a pit musician on banjo, mandolin, and flute for the world premiere of The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey at the Provision Theater in Chicago.

Upon seeing the joy on his daughters' faces when they watched the "Veggie Tales" videos, Martin was inspired to arrange an instrumental accompaniment for a Veggie Tunes musical program, featuring a compilation of songs from those videos. Working with the choir director, Priscilla Cuello, and parents of the students, who created character costumes, NSAA presented a highly successful musical production.  In 2004, he worked with Sharon Williams, Donald Huff, and the Spring Valley Academy students to produce the program at their school. It again was a huge success and is available on DVD from SVA.

Martin is married to Mary FitzGerald, from Green Bay, Wisconsin, and has two daughters, Karly and Katie. An avid golfer and bowler, he has "aces" in both sports; a golfing "hole in one," and a perfect 300 game in bowling.  Another passion of his is creating and arranging music for his students on his computer using Sibelius software. He has received commissions to write music for various groups and events across the U.S.


Sources: Interviews with Steve Martin, 2006 and 2012; "North Shore Adventist Academy recognizes exemplary teacher," Lake Union Herald, April 2013, 29; email, 30 August 2016; Other online sources.


The following recordings can be found at

Albums available as CDs or downloads:

Serenity (acoustic guitar & soprano, alto, & tenor recorder)

Heavenly Music (acoustic guitar, 5-string banjo, alto & tenor recorder)

How Great Thou Art (acoustic guitar, alto & tenor recorder)

Lift Up The Trumpet (acoustic guitar, trumpet, silver flute, tenor recorder, soprano sax)

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (acoustic guitar, bass guitar, flute, Irish whistle, bansuri, bass recorder, trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba, synthesizer, finger cymbals, timpani, drum set)

Hitchin’ (5-string banjo, guitar, fiddle, harmonica, bass) = traditional bluegrass music, currently only available directly from Steve Martin.

Singles available for download:

“Easter Song” (solo acoustic guitar)

“The Lord’s Prayer” (solo acoustic guitar)

“Be Still My Soul” (solo acoustic guitar)

“How Excellent Is Thy Name, O Lord” (solo acoustic guitar)

“You Are My All In All” (flute & acoustic guitar)