Stahl's professional musical career began officially following his discharge from the Army in 1973. Yet, during his enlistment, he performed as a soloist with The Army Band, held the position of lead trumpet in the "Army Blues" and was principal trumpet in the White House Herald Trumpets.
Since his discharge he has performed as lead trumpet and as a soloist with many of the top bands in America: Woody Herman, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Larry Elgart and Toshiko Akiyoshi, among others. With Rich he also served as band manager.
Stahl has backed up notables like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Jack Jones, Sarah Vaughan, and Englebert Humperdinck. Engagements have taken him through Europe, North Africa, the Caribbean, Canada, Japan, and forty-eight of the fifty states.
In April 1977 Stahl formed his own band, The Dave Stahl Band, and in April of 1987 produced Anaconda, a contemporary pop instrumental album which featured hits like Dick Lowell's arrangements of "Jump (For My Love)", "That's What Friends Are For", and Alan Downey's arrangement of "Saving All My Love For You" as well as original charts with Stahl as trumpet or flugelhorn soloist on most of the cuts.
Stahl has been part of many albums during his career: one album, with Woody Herman, became a Grammy Award winner. In addition, he performed as lead trumpet with Frank Sinatra on an engagement that was recorded and telecast live from Madison Square Garden: "Sinatra: The Main Event."
He has free-lanced in New York City, recording commercials for radio and television, like "I Love New York", Nationwide Insurance, Ford Motor Company, and sports themes for the Fox Television Network.
Broadway and off-Broadway shows with performers like Anne Reinking, Bebe Neuwirth, Jerry Lewis, Charles Aznavour.
Club and hotel engagements in Atlantic City.
Orchestra performances featuring the Floyd Werley "Concerto for Trumpet" originally composed for Doc Severinsen.
Musical competitions around the country where he has appeared as a guest judge.
Performances in all of the major jazz festivals, including Montreux, Switzerland and the Newport Jazz Festival in New York City.
Television shows - The Mike Douglas Show, The Big Show, a cable special from the Dominican Republic with Sinatra and Buddy Rich, BBC TV from England, a live PBS special at the White House, etc.
These, too, are also part of Stahl's repertoire of experiences.
Stahl counts as the highlights of his career a variety of accomplishments and experiences. One of the highlights was being named the feature performer in the International Brass Conference tribute to Maynard Ferguson, held in New York City. In addition, he was part of a two-week record setting engagement on Broadway with Count Basie, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. Performing at the London Palladium with Sinatra, Basie and Sarah Vaughan as well as participating in a command performance for Queen Elizabeth II have been notable for Stahl. He is listed in the Leonard Feather Encyclopedia of Jazz.
Dave's only trumpet teacher was Walter J. Gier of Reading, PA who passed away at the age of 90 in November of 1997.
Dave plays exclusively on a mouthpiece made by Warburton
Cherrywood String Ensembles, providing string quartet wedding music for Lancaster, Harrisburg, York, Reading, Philadelphia, PA and beyond.