Steven Paul Spears (he/they)

sps headshot
Campus Address
Music-Drama Center
Room 263
Conservatory of Music
Associate Professor of Music

Steven Paul Spears is associate professor of music and, beginning in Summer 2023, Chair of the Voice Department.  In addition to teaching studio voice and vocal literature, they teach the dictions of English, Italian and French.

Noted for being “most consistently musical, most clear in diction,” possessing a “stunningly beautiful, edgeless tenor” and for “lustrous singing,” tenor Steven Paul Spears has performed with many arts organizations across the United States and Europe.  Specializing in works of the Baroque and Contemporary Periods, Steven’s repertoire includes works of Rameau, Cavalli, Monteverdi, Bach and Handel, as well as Britten, Stravinsky, Orff and Ullmann.  Of their singing, reviewers have said Steven brought out “one reason why Bach’s vocal melodies have such complex, searching contours; they’re tracing not just musical thoughts, but also the changing weight and implications of the text,” giving a performance “so true to the words,” and of a performance of the Roasted Swan in Orff’s Carmina Burana, one critic wrote that it was “riveting…filled with angst and an overabundance of high notes, Spears dramatized the moment with vocal dexterity and polish.”

Steven has sung with opera companies in Berlin, St. Louis, Houston, Louisville, Utah, LA, Palm Beach and others.  After beginning their teaching career, Steven's performance focus shifted from opera to primarily concert repertoire.  Performances have taken Steven to a variety of venues in the US and Europe, including down the street to the Fox Valley Symphony, as well as to NYC, Brattleboro, VT, Louisville, Oklahoma City and Flagstaff.

​After receiving degrees in Music from the Juilliard School and the University of Louisville, Steven is now in their 20th year of teaching at Lawrence Conservatory in Appleton; 7th year as director of music at First Presbyterian Church in Neenah, and 34nd year of tutelage under Edith Davis Tidwell.

If you would like to schedule a virtual lesson or ask any question about Lawrence’s voice program, please email me at steven.spears@lawrence.eduIf you’d like to plan an in-person lesson, please reach out to with your request and we will schedule it, along with a tour and an opportunity to get to know our school better.  Looking forward to hearing from you!

The Juilliard School, MM
University of Louisville School of Music, BM
Years at Lawrence
2004 - present