Associate Professor - Music Theory
Room 329, Swope Music Building
B.A. (Music), Yale University
M.M., Yale School of Music
M.A., Ph.D., Princeton University
I'm excited to work in a community of musicians and educators firmly established on one hand and dynamically changing on the other. In my short time at West Chester, I have been struck by optimism and vision for the future pervading every level of the institution. There is incredible camaraderie among the students. And every day, I learn something impressive about a member of the faculty that makes me proud of where I work.
The present age demands "life-long learning" of new technologies, bodies of knowledge, and ways of communicating -this is no less true for those in the field of music and education. I want my students to feel that their education has given them the curiosity, the skills and the flexibility they will need in order to grow and to continue learning throughout their lives as artists and professionals.
Van Stiefel is a composer and electric guitarist who has written for or collaborated with various traditional and "non-traditional" music groups. His works have been performed by guitarist Eliot Fisk, Vega String Quartet, the Nash Ensemble (London), Thamyris (Atlanta), Talujon Percussion Quartet (New York), the Minnesota Guitar Quartet, and the Ives String Quartet (San Francisco). Stiefel has been composer-in-residence for the Macon Symphony and the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival. As a member of the Sap Dream Electric Guitar Quartet, he performed music by himself and others at a variety of events including the New York Guitar Festival, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and the Yale-/Pro Arte Guitar Series in New York. He recently collaborated with his wife sculptor Caroline Lathan Stiefel on an artwork/composition exhibited in Montreal, Ottawa, and Quebec City, Canada. Stiefel was commissioned in 1996, by Art in Odd Places-Atlanta/Olympic Festival to compose an unusual work for turntables and slide guitar. He was the Andres Segovia Fellow at the Banff Centre for the Arts and has received fellowships from the Georgia Council for the Arts as well as a Mid-Atlantic Arts Fellowship. Guitarist Ben Verdery features music by Stiefel on a CD of new music for classical guitar. Before becoming an Assistant Professor in Music Theory and Composition at West Chester, Stiefel was Visiting Lecturer in music theory at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University and composer-in-residence at the Sound Processing and Control Laboratory of McGill.