Since the year 2000, Steven Eckels has been the instructor of high school guitar for the Kalispell, Montana school district. He began his arranging career for Mel Bay Publications in 1994 with the publication of American Love Songs and Ballads. Since that time he has completed 18 books for Mel Bay Publications. His output of published works represent a unique array of diverse genres including guitar arrangements of Gregorian Chant, Cowboy Songs, Music of the North American Indians, the Music of Stephen Foster, Blues Classics, Gospel Classics, Christmas Encyclopedia, Classics for Kids as well as several method books on Fingerstyle Guitar. His formal training includes a bachelor's degree from Berklee College of Music, a Master's degree from New England Conservatory, and a Music Education Certification from Northland College. He is active a solo guitar performer as well as the leader of a 1950's dance band. His interest in opera was kindled by Dr. Robert Greenberg's lectures How to Listen to and Understand Opera, published by the Learning Company. In 1965, at the age of 10 he first began learning folk songs on guitar from his father. The family moved from northern Wisconsin to Danville, Virginia in 1966, were he was influenced by soul music, gospel music, and rock and roll. As time progressed his interests turned to the music of Chet Atkins, Segovia, and Joe Pass. During his college years he became interested in the possibility of blending rock music with classical forms. In 2013 he was attracted to the genre of opera because of its intensity, lyricism, and emotional impact. He was featured on Montana PBS 11th & Grant television show which can view viewed online. In addition to teaching guitar, he teaches the history of rock and roll. At the age of 60 after reading Bob Dylan's biography, he decided to return to rock and roll forming a 1950's dance band, Zino & the Bel Aires.