Steve Sensenig started playing piano at the age of 3 in his hometown of Parkesburg, PA. Using method books and classical music from his older sisters and mother, Steve began learning on his own to read music and play the piano. He did not begin formal training until the age of 11, at which point he was already playing basic classical sonatinas and other works of varying difficulties.
Throughout his middle school and high school years, Steve continued to develop his abilities and gained several awards in recognition of his playing and accompanying skills. Upon graduating from high school, Steve pursued his Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance at Cairn University where he enjoyed his orchestral debut with the first movement of a Mozart piano concerto.
His career has taken him into many genres in addition to the classical training he has received. While in high school, he had begun writing his own arrangements of hymn tunes, and began performing concerts in churches all over southeastern Pennsylvania. Early recording projects during his college years produced two recordings of his own hymn arrangements.
After graduation from college, Steve worked for several years in church music before spending time in a career of software development. Music stayed close to his experiences, however. While working in the software industry in Austin, TX, Steve began getting calls for session work. Studio sessions in a wide variety of genres followed. Experienced in gospel, rock, country/western, jazz, and classical music as a session player, Steve always brings a level of excellence to his keyboard playing that has complemented many artists in their projects.
For several years, Steve also played keyboards with the Christian contemporary trio Phillips, Craig, and Dean (PCD) in their live concerts. Steve’s involvement with that trio includes playing on their 2006 live DVD release. Additionally, while living in Austin, Steve began playing keyboards on a weekly television show hosted by Randy Phillips (of PCD) called “The Awakening”. This program aired in all parts of the world via satellite and cable networks.
In 2006, Steve accepted an invitation to join the faculty at the Hayes School of Music Appalachian State University as an Adjunct Faculty member, accompanying/coaching music students and accompanying other faculty members. During his employment there, he also was the pianist in the now-defunct Selah Piano Trio. This trio (with fellow faculty member Jacob Dakon on violin and student Todd St. Amand on cello) performed both of the piano trios of Felix Mendelssohn in a public performance that was quite well-received by students and faculty alike.
In addition to accompanying/coaching students at ASU, Steve also occasionally functioned as the accompanist/coach of the Opera Workshop, and music directed their production of Kurt Weill’s “Street Scene” in the spring of 2008.
For three seasons, Steve served as the Music Director of the now-defunct Blowing Rock Stage Company in Blowing Rock, NC. This professional equity summer-stock theatre performed several musicals each year under Steve’s musical direction, including “Sisters of Swing” (in which Steve also played the role of Vic Schoen, the musical director for the Andrews Sisters), “I Do, I Do”, “Always…Patsy Cline”, and the world premiere of “Moses Cone: King of Denim”. While at the Blowing Rock Stage Company, Steve also composed his first score for stage with his original score for “Glass Menagerie”.
In 2008, Steve accepted a position as a Music Director at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA, where he worked fulltime as Resident Music Director until Fall, 2012. He music directed (among others) “Bat Boy”, “Another Night Before Christmas”, “Forever Plaid”, “Annie”, “Violet”, “The Full Monty”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Cabaret”, and “Tarzan: The Stage Musical”. In addition, Steve assisted in the musical direction of a separate production of “Beauty and the Beast”, “Sweeney Todd” and “Little Shop of Horrors”.
He also served as an accompanist for the department of music at Emory and Henry College in Emory, VA. There, he accompanied their student Music Hour, juries, and their Musical Theatre class. He also played piano for several musical productions there including “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” and “Pippin”, among others.
In recent years, Steve has also been hired by several professional orchestras to write symphonic and pops arrangements. In the fall of 2015, Steve wrote 11 arrangements for the Atlanta Pops Orchestra to accompany former Celtic Woman star Chloë Agnew in her US orchestral debut. That concert has also toured parts of the eastern US in the years since. He has also written arrangements for Metropolitan Opera trumpeter Peter Bond, Met Opera singer Jeffrey Wells, singer Katie Deal, Broadway’s own Liz Callaway and Judy Kuhn among others.
In 2017, Steve completed his first orchestration of a full-length musical production. The show, “An American Hero” was developed through Southeast Missouri State University and received its premiere in September, 2017, going on to be a featured production and winner of “Best of Fest” at the 2018 New York Musical Festival. Steve also spent most of 2016 and 2017 touring with the musical stage production “Classic Nashville Roadshow” as a keyboardist and background vocalist.
In September, 2017, a childhood dream of Steve’s was realized as he performed George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with a symphony orchestra in two performances (Kingsport, TN’s Symphony of the Mountains under the baton of Cornelia Laemmli Orth).
In the fall of 2018, Steve began work with Norwegian Creative Studios in Riverview, FL where he has served as a music director for production shows for Norwegian, Oceania, and Regent Seven Seas Cruise Lines, traveling all over the world as an Install Music Director on all three cruise lines.
An excellent sight-reader and accompanist, Steve continues to receive many requests to accompany vocalists and instrumentalists in varying styles of music. He brings a life and excitement to his playing that adds to any performance.
In addition to his ongoing work with the cruise lines, Steve is currently focused on arranging/orchestrating, as well as continuing to be involved with various musical theatre projects.