A Sassy Bio of Ray Stephanson
Born prematurely in 1951, in the early morning, on the cusp of Aquarius and Pisces, the oldest of a family of five children, Ray comes from the village of Elfros Saskatchewan, population currently ca. 300. Photos of baby Ray show a fat-cheeked, well-nourished little guy with impressive jowls. He would quickly become tall, skinny, lanky, hairy--traits he wishes were still true! Being an Aquarius-Pisces type, he was drawn to music very early (at seven years) and had a slightly unconventional teen life, taking all but one of his high school grades by correspondence so he could play piano during the day. (By the way, Ray doesn't believe in astrology.) In grade 12, inspired by an English teacher at the Foam Lake high school--an Irishman named Frank McDonaugh--he decided he wanted to go to university and do English. From 1969-1973 at the University ofSaskatchewan he did his Honours degree in English. His most memorable teachers were Ron Marken, Roy Morrissey, Bob Calder, and Don Kerr. In 1973 he started the M.A. at McMaster University in Hamilton, and finished his Ph.D. in 1978. After a year of teaching part-time at McMaster, Wilfrid Laurier University, and the College of Cape Breton, he was hired at the U of S in 1979. He has been married, divorced, re-attached. His stepson Chris lives in Toronto and composes music. Ray likes to cook, make beer, and hates mowing the lawn. He is allergic to all tree pollens, most cats, all committee meetings, and income tax; he likes trees and cats, red wine, and eating fine food. Still playing keyboards, he likes to compose tunes, and does occasional gigs in a jazz group called The Dorgan / Stephanson Project (aka Johnny G & the Infectones).... and of course this means he has CDs for sale. His exercise regime is aerobics (for the music, not the spandex) and lifting weights. In the summer months he works out at the BBQ. He is about 6 feet 1 inch tall, and rapidly shrinking. On good days he weighs between 177-182 pounds. That gray hair on his home page photo is a hairdresser's illusion to make his students feel younger. His favorite piano players: Keith Jarrett and Kenny Barron. His favorite breakfast: banana, milk, and any cereal. His favorite food: Thai. His favorite beer: lager. His all-time favorite teachers: Stella (his mom, still living in Elfros) and Eric (his dad, who died in 1996). Ray is scheduled to retire in 2016 or 2018 (he can't remember which), but hopes to win the lotto and bow out earlier than that. Maybe become a music bum. Or a chef in a piano bar.