Stanford Thompson, chair


Stanford Thompson is a musician and educator who is passionate about using music education for social action. From 2004 until 2008 he was the founding Director of Operations for the Atlanta Trumpet Festival. He also served as the President and Artistic Director for the Reading Summer Music Institute, Program Director of the Meru (Kenya) Music Project, and founding Director of Tune Up Philly. Since 2011, Stanford serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the El Sistema-inspired program Play On, Philly! where 250 children throughout Philadelphia receive free daily after-school music instruction regardless of their socioeconomic status.

As a conductor and educator, Stanford has served as clinician for the Music In Charter Schools annual festival and Philadelphia All-City Brass Symposium. He has served on faculty for the Atlanta Academy of Music and Symphony in C Summer Music Camp. He has also lectured at major American universities and international conferences like Brown University, TED, University of Pennsylvania, Westminster Choir College, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Walnut Hill School, New England Conservator, and The Curtis Institute of Music, among others.

As a trumpeter, Mr. Thompson has performed with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, Symphony in C and recorded on the Ondine label with Christoph Eschenbach. Stanford also appeared as soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Ocean City Pops Orchestra and the North Springs Philharmonic. He has lead residencies with Philos Brass and the Rittenhouse Jazz Quintet where he has performed for the Berks Jazz Festival, performed on the Washington College Concert Series and presented for the opening gala of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Currently, Stanford is a member of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra and Philadelphia Wind Symphony.

For Play On, Philly!, Stanford has secured over $4 million since it’s inception in 2011. Over thirty professional teaching artists mentor the students on a daily basis, which has prepared them to perform with world-class musicians like Sir Simon Rattle, Wynton Marsalis, Marin Alsop, and Bobby McFerrin.

Stanford is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music where he holds a Bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance and the New England Conservatory’s Abreu Fellows Program. He serves as the chair of the National Alliance of El Sistema Inspired Programs and is recognized as one of Philadelphia’s top 76 Creative Connectors.

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