Stephen Gruoner has been playing with the LCSO for twenty-five years. Currently, he plays viola with the LCSO but his main instrument is violin. He has a unique musical background and has had many experiences that have shaped his musical abilities.
Stephen’s musical career began when he began taking violin lessons at the age of seven from Florence Gindl, the Concertmaster of the NISO. His violin and viola that he currently own have an interesting history, and are many years old. Stephen got his musical background from his mother, who is a piano teacher in Munster, IN.
Stephen received his Bachelor of Music in Music Business and has taken many courses in theory, aural skills, piano musicianship and history, as well as music education classes and music performance for violin and voice. He took these courses, along with business classes, from Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University. He then received his Master of Business Administration from Roosevelt.
Stephen has worked with and performed with several professional music organizations throughout his career. Stephen was the Personnel Manager/Music Librarian for ten years for the Whiting Park Festival Orchestra in Whiting, IN, and also played viola with them. He played frequently with the South Shore Orchestra and went on tour in China in 2009/2010 with them, where they played eight concerts in seven cities. In addition to this, Stephen has played as second chair viola in Michigan City Presbyterian Church’s Handel’s Messiah for twenty-one years. He has also subbed with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra and was a student apprentice with Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra from January to May of 1983. Stephen was also a founding member of Northwest Indiana Symphony Chorus in 1985.
Aside from music, Stephen currently works as a caregiver and is also an HR Specialist/Sr. Caregiver for a private home care agency in Lake County, IN. He is also a part of the Indiana Federation of Music Clubs, where he is currently on the Investment/Finance Committee and works as the State Newsletter Editor and State Public Relations chair, as well as serving as a member of the State Board of Directors. Overall, he was a member of the State Board of Directors from March 1997 to June 2001.
Stephen has an American Staffordshire Terrier. In his free time, he likes to spend time with his significant other, as well as cook, bake and watch reality TV shows, which he loves. What Stephen appreciates most about being a part of the LCSO is seeing his friends and making music with them.