Commencement Speaker Jan Stevens ’77
Sierra Nevada College is proud to announce that eclectic composer Jan Stevens will be the speaker at the 48th annual commencement ceremony. Stevens has written music for over 300 episodes of television, including the much-loved series Scrubs and Samantha Who. His credit list also includes indie feature films, documentaries, commercials, and producing projects.
Stevens’ talent for crafting a distinct sound for each project stems from his unique combinations of standard instrumentation and global influences. Stevens studied piano and saxophone while he was growing up in an east coast musical family. From that foundation, he taught himself to play flute, guitar, drums, harmonica, trumpet and more. Stevens traveled the world, sometimes supporting himself playing his guitar on the streets of France and Spain. During his travels, he immersed himself in collecting musical instruments and learning new sounds and rhythms from local musicians.
After graduating from Sierra Nevada College, Stevens earned a film scoring degree from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. He then moved to Los Angeles to begin his career. His first project there was the score for the award-winning Vietnam War documentary Ripped in Two. His ventures into composing music for children led to commissions for Mattel, including advertising for Hot Wheels and Barbie. Later he wrote music for two animated network programs, Little Wizards on NBC and the syndicated series Sylvanian Woods Family.
Stevens wrote and produced eleven music library albums, covering genres ranging from symphonic orchestra to heavy metal and from world music to ‘30s jazz. He scored numerous television pilots, syndicated series, and primetime network shows. These include not only Scrubs and Samantha Who but Grapevine, Saturday Night Live, American Idol, Ellen Degeneres, Fox Sports, The Sopranos, Jimmy Kimmel, The Tonight Show, The Today Show, and Oprah – to name a selection. The Scrubs episode “My Musical” garnered Emmy nominations for best song, and he’s earned four BMI awards and a SESAC Television Music Award.
Jan Stevens now lives in Marin County, in northern California. He is currently producing up-and-coming artists in addition to composing for TV and film. His song “Goodbye Is Not Forever”, which he wrote for his graduation from SNC, will be performed during Commencement. His website is at janstevenscomposer.com.