Steven F. Darsey


Steven Foard Darsey holds the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and has studied musicology with the late Peter LeHuray at Cambridge and conducting with Helmuth Rilling at Stuttgart. He has conducted numerous performances and has prepared choruses for Sir David Willcocks and the late Robert Shaw. He lectures and publishes on the history and practice of church music and his work on Georgia's famous tunebook, The Sacred Harp, led him to establish a series of worship services with Fred Craddock based on Southern Folk Hymns.

Through his career spanning over 35 years as a church musician, Mr. Darsey has planned and led music for some 1500 worship services. His life's calling as a church musician leads him to plan music that explicates lectionary texts and helps relate hearers to one another and to God.  He founded Orpheus Dei in 1996 with the aim of helping other church musicians serve their parishes and God.   

He has formerly served Baptist, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist parishes, and has led workshops, festivals, and services for Presbyterian, Disciples of Christ, Episcopal and Catholic parishes and dioceses, including two for the national conference of The Hymn Society. A specialist in vernacular sacred music, he designed and leads annual ecumenical Camp Meeting,  Folk Advent and Folk Passion services that have become staples of Georgia worship life. Since 1986, he has served the Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on the Emory University campus, Atlanta, Georgia. There he leads an active parish music program with choirs for all ages. He also serves as President of Meridian Herald.

Mr. Darsey also performs as a balladeer, specializing in Celtic and American folk music.  A composer, he has written and arranged over 100 works with publications through Lyra Sacra, Lawson-Gould and World Library music publishers. The summer of 2009, he completed his oratorio setting of Sidney Lanier's, "The Marshes of Glynn." For his work on Georgia's Ossabaw Island on this composition, he was named the Sandy West Ossabaw Fellow for 2010.


Orpheus Dei Home