Washington High School, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has a high level of commitment to the performing arts and offers orchestra, choir, band, theater, and dance. The school has two string orchestras, a full symphony orchestra, and an alternative strings program to provide students with excellent musical opportunities. Washington Orchestra students participate in small ensembles and community performances throughout the school year. Among many accomplishments, the Symphony-String Orchestra was selected in 2008 to perform at Carnegie Hall in the National Honors Orchestra Festival and has received superior ratings the last 14 years at Iowa’s state large group contest. Over the past decade, the group has traveled and performed in Chicago, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, Washington, DC, and Virginia in the United States, and also in Ireland.
Meet Our Director
Andrew Steffen holds a Master of Music Education Degree from VanderCook College of Music (2014) and a Bachelor’s of Music Education from the University of Northern Iowa (2009). He has taught at Washington High School since Fall 2017 and previously led the McKinley Middle School Orchestras for 8 years.
As a Violist, Mr. Steffen is in his seventh season with Orchestra Iowa and he has previously performed as a member of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, the Dubuque Symphony, the Mannheim Steamroller Orchestra, in addition to many performances in small ensembles for formal, social, or seasonal events. He is a member of the American String Teachers’ Association (ASTA) and the Iowa String Teachers’ Association (ISTA) where he has served as festival chair of the ISTA Middle School Honors Orchestra.
In his free time, Mr. Steffen is an avid cyclist, cooking enthusiast, and remote session musician through the Materia Collective with over 18 album credits to his name as a solo artist and collaborator. He is frequently interrupted from all above activities by his cats Elly and Lucy.