Stephen Howland


Stephen Howland
  • Professional
  • Biography
  • Personal

Additional Titles/Roles

  • Ear-training I/II


  • D.M.A., Arizona State University
  • M.M., Arizona State University
  • B.M., University of Idaho

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Jazz, Classical, and Contemporary Guitar Performance, Pedagogy, and History
  • Music Composition, Arranging, Theory, and Analysis


Applied lessons in Jazz and Classical Guitar, Co-direct the PLU Guitar Festival

Selected Articles

  • Howland, Stephen. "Life at the Crossroads Between Classical and Jazz." Guitar Soundings Vol. 54, No. 4, July/August 2013: 4.
  • Howland, Stephen. "David Russell Masterclass Review." Guitar Soundings Vol. 45, No. 3, May/June 2002: 6.
  • Howland, Stephen. "Masterclass Review: The Guitarist’s Gospel according to Pepe Romero." The Seattle Classic Guitar Society Datebook Vol. 30, No. 1, January/February 2001: 6.


Dr. Stephen Howland is a guitarist, composer, arranger, and songwriter. He currently teaches both jazz and classical guitar and co-directs the annual PLU Guitar Festival at Pacific Lutheran University. He also teaches at Rosewood Guitar in Seattle and focuses on performing original music with some of the great creative talent in the Seattle area, including Nate Omdal, Marco De Carvalho, Gordy Ryan, Adam Kessler, Jason Parker, Courtney Fortune, among others. Howland is a native of Walla Walla, Washington. He has a diverse professional background, playing solo jazz, classical, flamenco, and acoustic styles; and performing in jazz combos and big bands, rock bands, and a wide variety of classical and early music ensembles. He has been a featured guitarist-composer in new music festivals and a concert artist and clinician at universities, colleges, and guitar societies throughout the West. He has been featured on recordings as a jazz soloist with big band, classical and early music chamber musician, solo guitarist in various styles, and writer and studio guitarist for independent artists and bands, including the Seattle based band Motopony. He has written, arranged, and performed a diverse range of music for solo guitar and mixed ensembles. Since 2009 he has performed with PLU colleague Elizabeth Brown, presenting many of his own arrangements for two guitars, including pieces by Albéniz, Tchaikovsky, and Turina. Howland completed his DMA research paper, Edward’s MacDowell’s “Woodland Sketches” Arranged for Guitar: A Performance Edition, Biography, and Literature Review, in 1998. Howland earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance from Arizona State University, Master of Music from ASU, and Bachelor of Music from the University of Idaho. He received the highest marks and many academic honors and awards, including a teaching assistantship at ASU, the Presser Award, and the Eleanor Mader Memorial String Award.


  • Running: roads and trails, middle and long distances