(Click on Sanford’s picture to go to his personal website)
Stanford was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1986 to Adrienne and Willie Thompson. He was the seventh of eight children and began his studies on the trumpet when he was eight years old. During middle and high school, Stanford was a member of the DeKalb Youth Symphony, Metropolitan Youth Symphony and Atlanta Youth Symphony Orchestras, Atlanta Trumpet Ensemble and Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony where he performed in China, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and all over the United States. In high school, Stanford studied with Dr. Gordon Vernick, Christopher Martin and Joseph Walthall. Outside of his musical activities, he created and ran Phinical Web Designs, earned the rank of Eagle Scout, and served as the co-founding director of operations for the annual Atlanta Trumpet Festival.
Stanford continued his musical studies and earned a Bachelor of Music from The Curtis Institute of Music where he held the William A. Loeb fellowship. While in Philadelphia, he had the opportunity to perform 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.
Outside of his performing career, Mr. Thompson also enjoys an active schedule of community engagement events that has lead to over one hundred presentations, master classes and lectures around the world. In addition to serving as the founding director of operations of the Atlanta Trumpet Festival, Mr. Thompson is the founding artistic director of the Reading Summer Music Institute and the Philadelphia All-City Brass Symposium. Stanford also helped to implement one of the first instrumental music programs in Kenya through the Meru Instrumental Music Project where he trained music teachers, taught children and continues to consult and guide the program. He also manages professional music ensembles, maintains a private trumpet studio and consults musicians and musical organizations around the world. Stanford is currently a Jose Abreu fellow at the New England Conservatory, where he is working closely to develop El Sistema inspired music programs in Kenya, Pennsylvania and Georgia.