Lawrence Stoffel returned to his native California when he assumed the position of Director of Bands at California State University, Northridge in 2004. He serves as conductor of both the CSUN Wind Ensemble and the Wind Symphony. As a professor of music, he also teaches courses in conducting and music education, as well as being the coordinator of wind studies. Under his leadership the CSUN Wind Ensemble is highly active and visible throughout the state and nationally providing CSUN students with extraordinary performance opportunities. In recent years the CSUN Wind Ensemble’s touring has taken students from Orchestra Hall in Chicago, to the historic Scott Auditorium in Honolulu, to one of California’s state prisons.
Known for his enthusiasm at rehearsals, concerts, and clinics alike, Dr. Stoffel has most recently conducted all-state bands in Virginia, Texas, and California. He is published and lectures on topics pertinent to the profession — from musical interpretation to band transcriptions, from the use of religious music in the public schools to teaching in urban schools, from copyright law to band discography. His publications are found in both books (Teaching Music Through Performance in Band and Alta Musica) and journals (The Instrumentalist and MBM Times). Some of his writings on conducting gestures are found in The Music Director’s Cookbook: Recipes for a Successful Program (Meredith Music). His book, A Discography of Concert Band Recordings on Compact Disc (Edwin Mellen Press), was selected as a finalist for Best Research in Recorded Classical Music Discography by the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC). In 2014 Mark Custom Records released the first-ever recording of The Complete Symphonies for Band by Frank Erickson (51299-MCD) by the CSUN Wind Ensemble and Dr. Stoffel conducting. For more than a decade he has written and produced annual “Discovery: Music!” concerts — innovative, interactive band concerts that have received international attention. He has presented and conducted at The Midwest Clinic on six occasions.
Prior to his appointment at CSUN, Dr. Stoffel served as Director of Huskie Bands at Northern Illinois University (where he was honored with the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award) and Director of Bands at Eastern Illinois University. Earlier teaching assignments also included Director of Bands at the University of California-San Diego, and at the high school level in Pasadena and Buena Park, California. He was a regular clinician for the Australian Band & Orchestra Directors Association and served as a Visiting Professor of Music Education at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University.
Dr. Stoffel holds the degrees Doctor of Music from Indiana University, the Master of Music from the University of Colorado, and both the Bachelor of Arts in Music and the Master of Education degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles. His principal conducting professors were Dr. Thomas Lee, Allan McMurray, and Ray Cramer.
As a clinician, Lawrence Stoffel has guest-conducted middle school, high school, all-state, college, and community bands and orchestras throughout California, the United States, Canada, France, and Australia. His professional affiliations include NAfME, CBDNA, CMEA, SCSBOA, WASBE, IGEB, CMS, NBA, and NCBA. He has received honorary membership in Tau Beta Sigma, Kappa Kappa Psi, Pi Kappa Lambda, and Phi Mu Alpha. In 2018 Dr. Stoffel received the Hall of Fame Award from the California Music Education Association, and in 2019 was elected membership into the American Bandmasters Association.