Stanford Thompson


Stanford Thompson is a musician and educator who is passionate about using music education and performance for social innovation. From 2004 until 2008 he was the founding Director of Operations for the Atlanta Trumpet Festival. He also serves as the President and Artistic Director for the Reading Summer Music Institute since 2008, Program Director of the Meru (Kenya) Music Project since 2009, founding Director of Tune Up Philly in 2010, and Executive Director of the El Sistema-inspired program Play On, Philly! in 2011.

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 presented master classes and clinics to all ages in over 100 presentations worldwide. Mr. Thompson also teaches on the faculty with the New England Conservatory’s Abreu Fellows Program and mentors students at The Curtis Institute of Music.

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 in Milford, Pennsylvania and Atlanta, Georgia. In the jazz idiom, 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 with the Rittenhouse Jazz Quintet. Currently, Stanford is a member of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra and Philos Brass.

For El Sistema-inspired programs he has designed and consulted, Stanford has secured over $1 million in funding which has lead to the direct impact of thousands of children around the world. In Philadelphia, specifically, his students have performed on the stages of the Kimmel Center, Mann Music Center, and the Wanamaker Building and collaborated with students during the first national convening of El Sistema-inspired programs in the United States. The network of children orchestras in Philadelphia are expanding to diverse neighborhoods and steadily proving their impact on social ills the targeted communities face.

Stanford is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music where he holds a Bachelor’s degree in performance and the New England Conservatory’s Abreu Fellows Program. He serves on the board of the American Composers Forum Philadelphia Chapter and recognized as one of Philadelphia’s top 76 Creative Connectors. He has presented at international conferences at TED, League of American Orchestras. Sistema Canada, and El Sistema USA.

Stanford Thompson will be a panelist at our October, 2012 symposium: Information, Space and Time: The Arts, Creativity and Learning in the 21st Century.