My name is Stanford Thompson and I currently serve as the Executive Director for the El Sistema-inspired program Play On, Philly! I was inspired by Jose Abreu’s TED Prize Award to pursue a career in developing social development programs using music as the tool to reach under-served and at-risk youth in Philadelphia. I entered the Abreu Fellows program at the New England Conservatory in 2009, and served as the founding director for the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra’s Tune Up Philly program prior to my current position.
In November 2011, Elisabeth Babcock – CEO of the Crittenton Women’s Union and volunteer faculty for the Abreu Fellows – voluntarily wrote a briefing paper on ideas of developing a national and professional association of music training programs for high-risk youth. This briefing paper directly inspired several leaders and advocates for El Sistema-inspired programs to discuss the possibility of forming an association which would serve the needs of our programs across the United States.
This blog/website is designed to openly share the ideas which Beth is proposing to leaders of music education programs serving under-served and at-risk youth. Beth and I share the hope that this information may help in the development of a national association which would serve the great work happening in music education programs around the country in a concise and transparent way.
Please share this page and actively participate as the discussions continue. Your comments will be discussed and I encourage you to participate in the discussion. All thoughts and views are welcome and will help shape the future of a potential national association.
Executive Director – Play On, Philly!