Trustee Stanford Thompson speaks at TED2017

  • Sanford Thompson speaking at TED2017 on April 24, 2017 in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
    Photo Credit: Ryan Lash / TED

  • Stanford Thompson, trumpet, with members of Play On, Philly! including Interlochen alumna Akili Farrow, violin, at TED2017 on April 24, 2017 in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
    Photo Credit: Ryan Lash / TED

Interlochen Trustee Stanford Thompson, who was chosen as a TED fellow in January, gave his first presentation as a TED fellow on April 24.

Thompson spoke and performed at the TED2017 event at the Community Theater in Vancouver, Canada. Thompson and several musicians from the Play On, Philly! program opened the day’s festivities with an arrangement of “Simple Gifts” by Sheridan Seyfried. Among the students selected to perform was violinist Akili Farrow, who attended Interlochen Arts Camp in 2015 and 2016.

Later in the program, Thompson returned to the stage as a speaker to discuss the founding of Play On, Philly! Thompson began by describing his own childhood, where his love of music helped him avoid the potential pitfalls of his low-income neighborhood. Later, inspired by his mentor Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu, the founder of El Sistema, Thompson founded Play On, Philly! to give other low-income and at-risk children an opportunity to study music and stay off the streets.

“We all have responsibility of providing the best instruments for the poorest kids, and the best teachers for the most vulnerable kids, and best musical opportunities for the most marginalized kids,” he said during his presentation.

Thompson’s full-length presentation can be purchased at https://www.ted.com/talks.

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