Musicologist and historian Stan Pelkey is a graduate of the University of Rochester, where he completed the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Historical Musicology at the Eastman School of Music, and the M.A. in European History. He currently serves as Associate Dean of Engagement and Entrepreneurship in the College of Music. Previously, Pelkey was Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Roberts Wesleyan College and an Associate Professor of Music at Western Michigan University. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in music history, film music, music research, world music, and music theory.
Pelkey researches and writes about American and British film and television music, English keyboard music, Handel reception history, and the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams. He was the 2009 recipient of the Ralph Vaughan Williams Fellowship and has received support from the American Handel Society, London Handel Institute, and Presser Foundation. Pelkey has co-edited two books, Anxiety Muted: American Film Music in a Suburban Age (Oxford University Press, 2014), and Music and History: Bridging the Disciplines (University Press of Mississippi, 2005). Among his other publications on film music are his chapter, “Still Flyin’? Conventions, Reversals, and Musical Meaning in Firefly” (2010), and a major article, “Film Music,” in Movies in American History: An Encyclopedia (ABC-CLIO, 2011). His publications on British music history include articles in the New Catholic Encyclopedia: Supplement 2011 and The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (2001), as well as two journal articles. He has completed book reviews for The American Historical Review, Music Reference Services Quarterly, the Bulletin of the Society of American Music, and Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, and he has been a peer reviewer for Oxford University Press, Boydell & Brewer, and Indiana University Press. He has also given numerous presentations at the regional, national, and international conferences of professional organizations and societies, such as the American Historical Association, the College Music Society, the North American British Music Studies Association, the American Musicological Association, the Popular Culture Association, the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and Film & History.
An organist, pianist, and composer, Pelkey has served as Director of Music for churches in New York, Michigan, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Florida. His organ teachers have included Russell Saunders, Michael Farris, Katie Pardee, Karl Schrock, and Mark Schell. He has also studied North Indian tabla with Jerry Leake and plays the Native American flute.