Valerie Stoelzel served the students and faculty of the Grand Valley State University Department of Music and Dance for 15 years as the Department’s first Concert and Arts Information Coordinator. Upon her retirement in 2016, she was lauded for her tremendous creative and artistic insight, coupled with her personal and supportive approach to arts promotion positively affecting the programs and advertising for virtually all of Grand Valley’s Music and Dance faculty and student events. Her outreach efforts raised awareness of performances locally and state-wide putting Grand Valley’s excellence on display for all to see and hear. In addition to her work in arts administration, she was a member of the General Education faculty in Music.
Valerie’s musical career began as an opera singer performing in Austria, New York, and throughout New England. Highlights of her singing career are leading roles in La Boheme (Musetta and Mimi), Le Nozze di Figaro (Susannah and the Countess), The Magic Flute (Papagena), Die Fledermaus (Adele), Turandot (Liu), Amahl and the Night Visitors, and 35 performances as Gretel in Hansel and Gretel in 30 days.
Her arts administration career began at the University of Connecticut where she served as Associate Director of Artistic Programs and Director of the School of Fine Arts Outreach Program. Valerie also held the positions of Arts in Education Program Manager for the Louisiana State Department of Education and Artistic Administrator/Director of Education for Palm Beach Opera. For seven years she produced the Palm Beach Opera National Vocal Competition and created the award-winning Swing and Sing Summer Camp for underserved children. She was contributing writer for several curriculum guides for the State of Louisiana.
Valerie was a member of the Board of Directors for Grand Valley’s University Club, a member of the Advisory Cabinet for the GVSU Faculty/Staff Annual Campaign, Board of Directors of the Grand Rapids Bach Festival, Parent Advisory Board of Grand Valley’s Children’s Enrichment Center, and the Board of Directors of the Allendale American Youth Soccer Organization. Along with her husband, she co-hosted the highly successful 2013 conference of the International Trumpet Guild in Grand Rapids, Michigan.