Stephen Mager holds a Doctor of Music degree in choral conducting from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where he also completed his master's studies. His minor field studies include organ, piano, and musicology. He studied organ with Christopher Young; Baroque performance practice with Elizabeth Wright; and piano and harpsichord with Mary Mottl, Daniel Schene, and Carl Smith. His choral teachers have included Jan Harrington, Julius Herford, Thomas Binkley, Robert Shaw, Margaret Hillis, Robert Porco, Dale Warland, John Poole, and Carmen-Helena Téllez.
Dr. Mager has served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Masterworks Chorale, Belleville, Illinois, since 2009. The ensemble performs in an annual subscription concert series, serving the southwest Illinois region. Under Dr. Mager's direction, the Chorale has performed numerous major works including the Bach's Cantatas BWV 4 and 147; Handel's Messiah (part I); Berlioz, L'Enfance du Christ; Carissimi, Jephte; Haydn's Nelson Mass; Poulenc, Gloria; and Requiem settings by Mozart, Brahms, Fauré, and Duruflé.
Other conducting credits include the Arcangeli Chamber Chorus, with whom he has produced two CD recordings; The Providence Singers, Saint Louis; St. Louis Chamber Chorus; The Baden Chamber Orchestra; Saint Louis University Chorale; and education outreach performances for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and the Washington National Opera.
An active composer, Dr. Mager has written extensively for chorus and orchestra. His works have been performed by such distinguished ensembles as the Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus; VocalEssence, Minnesota; and the Dallas Symphony Chorus. In 2004, Mager was appointed composer-in-residence by the Bach Society of Saint Louis, which has since commissioned a number of major choral works.
Dr. Mager has served as organist and choirmaster for Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church, Saint Louis, since 1988. His publishers include Oxford University Press and MorningStar Music.