Stephen Solum, Ph.D.
is the founder and lead instructor of the Sound Arts Program and instructor in
music theory at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.
The first half of Steve Solum’s life was spent creating, performing and recording
music and sound art. Since 1987 his energies have been centered on teaching
others to do the same.
A singer and entertainer from early childhood, Steve worked professionally as a
rock musician from high school through his undergraduate years at St. Olaf College
in Minnesota. After graduation in 1970 he embarked upon a successful career in
the commercial music industry—as a club singer, arranger, and studio
owner/operator. He pioneered techniques for combining live performance with
pre-recorded music tracks in performances throughout the Midwest. After more
than 1000 professional stage appearances, Steve’s interest in music and new
technologies led him to return to the academic world and a Master’s degree from
New York University in 1987, with special work in synthesis and aesthetics. He
began development of his unique approach to learning sound technology while
teaching at N.Y.U. Cited for ground breaking work in virtual instrument design and
extended MIDI performance techniques, he was awarded a Dissertation Fellowship
from The University of Minnesota to finish his Doctoral work in composition, again
concentrating on digital synthesis and aesthetics.
Steve was appointed to the full-time faculty at MCTC in 1994 with the charge to
develop a degree program—later to become known as The Sound Arts Program—
in the center of Minneapolis, itself at the center of music culture and industry in