Gonzaga University electrical engineering professor doubles as a musician

Gonzaga University electrical engineering professor doubles as a musician
The Gonzaga Bulletin

The time-old tale to cure stage fright is: close your eyes and picture everyone in the audience in their underwear.

But when electrical and computer engineering professor Steve Schennum took to the stage and opened his eyes, the audience weren’t in their underwear. They were naked.

And one hour later, so was he.

One of Schennum’s most memorable performances in his music career was at the Kaniksu Ranch Family Nudist Resort, just 40 miles north of campus.

“We played for a while and after an hour everybody was naked and yelled ‘take off your clothes’ so we did,” Schennum said. “We just kept on playing and it was really weird. That was about 15 or 20 years ago.”

Since then, Schennum has performed fully-clothed with a half dozen bands he has been involved with around the Inland Northwest.

Most recently, the Gonzaga engineering professor has filled the roles of guitarist, mandolinist and vocalist for The Sock Puppets, a three-year-old Spokane-born band.

Schennum found his band-mates, Chris Howie and Jeff Renfrow, through the small but diverse music community in Spokane.

“There’s a blue grass society, a jazz society, a blues society, there’s a folklore society, all these kinds of music societies,” Schennum said. “There’s a lot of people who get together at open mics and go to jams and I’ve been here for 30 years and have met a lot of people through it.”

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