Re: Mallet percussion technique questions
I play Stevens on the vibes, and I have no problems whatsoever. It's kind of a divided camp: Stevens players prefer birch handles, and Burton players prefer rattan handles. It kind of goes with the "feel" of each on the instrument.
EDIT: One other thing to consider: on the vibes, you basically HAVE to play in the middle of the bars (unlike the marimba and xylo, where you can play the edge of the accidentals and "get away with it"). Burton grip is more comfortable for this, I've heard.
About your wrist torquing: play more inverted chords. Of course your wrists are going to get funky while playing a B major triad (B, D#, F#, B). Play something more interesting, and better contouring for your wrists, like: F#, B, D#, F#. It'll be easier to play, and sound less "freshman in theory class"-ish.
Good luck, and hold on tight! Music school is a huge smack upside your head, in an academic way...