Author: Stanford Thompson
Stanford Thompson is a musician and educator who is passionate about using music for social action and serves as the Founder and Executive Director for the El Sistema-inspired program, Play On, Philly!. He serves on the boards of the Curtis Institute of Music, El Sistema USA, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and the American Composers Forum. He regularly contributes to the communities of TED, League of American Orchestras, and El Sistema-inspired initiatives around the world. For El Sistema inspired programs he has implemented, Stanford has secured over $8.5 million in funding which has impacted the lives of hundreds of children in Philadelphia.
Trained as a professional 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 where they performed recitals and outreach presentations, presented master classes, and conducted clinics. In the jazz idiom, Stan 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.
Stanford is a native of Decatur, GA and holds degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory’s Abreu Fellows Program.
I first learned about Project STEP (String Training Education Program) when I was in middle school. Being a trumpet player, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to join, but at Interlochen I would get to know one of their students very well and learn that they have helped dozens of students launch careers as professional musicians.