Stas Omelchenko is a Russian-Israeli-American composer, pianist, arranger, and educator. He currently teaches theory and composition at Beckett School at Laurier (Ontario, Canada). Prior to joining Beckett, he served as instructor of composition, music theory and history at Florida Southern College (USA), where he also directed the electronic recording studio. Stas has also taught composition and music theory at the University of Tampa and Patel Conservatory of Music at David Straz Center in Tampa, Florida.
As an active composer, Stas has been commissioned by and has worked with many notable ensembles and performers, including Loma Linda Academy (CA), Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Great Falls, Springfield, Valley Symphonies, Tampa Brass Quintet, Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society and Yinbalim Hand Bell Choir (Israel). His works have also been commissioned and performed by higher educational institutions including Eastern Kentucky University, University of South Texas, St. Ambrose University, The University of Iowa Center for New Music, Florida Southern College, and The University of Tampa.
Stas’ music can be found on numerous CDs and recordings, among which are New Music for Brass Quintet (2021) by the University of Kentucky Faculty Brass Quintet and Decommissioned: Solo Violin in Cold War Relics (2021) by violinist Megan Karls of the Great Falls Symphony Orchestra. In 2021, Stas was the finalist for the American Music Prize in Music (composition category) for his choral work Amen. His most recent project includes orchestral work Ka’shatsténshera: The Power and Unity of Music, a collaboration with Indigenous hand-drummer and singer Cara Loft, Indigenous student drummers and singers and Wilfrid Laurier Symphony Orchestra.
As an international presenter and scholar, Stas has served as an artist in residence at the University of Aveiro (Portugal) where he mentored composition students, presented composition lectures, and engaged students in masterclasses and workshops. In 2019, he co-directed a travel-abroad study trip to St. Petersburg, Russia through Florida Southern College, where he served as historian, translator, tour-guide, and administrative assistant. From 2013-2019 he served as Assistant Director for the summer string camps at Florida Southern College and the University of Tampa, and he has served as assistant lead faculty of the International Opera Performance Experience (IOPE) string program in Mecatello, Italy.
A dedicated educator, Stas had mentored many students and helped launch their professional careers in composition, arranging, and music education. Many of his past students have attended acclaimed music programs such as Harvard, Yale, Miami, Redlands, Rice, Michigan, and York University in the UK. In addition, his students have landed prestigious roles performing in ensembles for companies including Disney World, Universal Studios, and Bush Gardens, while others have gone on to pursue teaching careers as K-12 educators in the US or pursue careers in film and videogame music scoring.
Stas has served on adjudication boards for numerous “Call for Scores” competitions and regional music performance assessments in the US. He is a member of College Music Society, ASCAP, Society of Composers, American Composers Forum and is an honorary member of Pi Kappa Lambada. He has played principal tuba with the West-Eastern Divan Symphony Orchestra and the Tel Aviv University Symphony Orchestra, and has played under Daniel Barenboim, Sir Andrew Davis, Zubin Mehta, Cliff Colnot, and Ami Maayani. Stas received his music education in Russia, Israel, and holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Roosevelt University (Chicago, USA) where he studied tuba with Gene Pokorny and Charles Schuchat, and composition with Stacy Garrop, Kyong-Mee Choi, Don Malone, and Gyula Fekete. He received his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in composition from the University of Iowa.