Stanford Thompson 2015 Francis Family Foundation Fellow


The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance is pleased to announce that Stanford Thompson is our 2015 Francis Family Foundation Fellow and will be in residence at the UMKC Conservatory March 31–April 3, 2015.  He is the keynote speaker at the annual Musical Bridges Benefit luncheon, Wednesday, April 1, 2015, Pierson Auditorium, UMKC’s Atterbury Student Success Center.

During his residency, Stanford will work with students from Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, through the Conservatory Academy’s Musical Bridges program.  Local high schools include Washington High School, KCKS, and Lincoln Preparatory Academy and Ruskin High School, Kansas City, Missouri.

Stanford Thompson is a musician and educator who is passionate about using music for social action and serves as the Founder and Artistic Director for the El Sistema-inspired program, Play On, Philly! and he is the Chairman of El Sistema USA. 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 more than $4 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.

Mr. Thompson will also work with Conservatory students, including the trumpet studio and the Volker Brass Quintet during his residency, and with the UMKC Black Studies program.  The film Crescendo! The Power of Music, a documentary by filmmakers Jamie Bernstein and Elizabeth Kling will be screened Wednesday, April 1, 2 p.m. at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library, Truman Forum auditorium.  The film follows students in two El Sistema-inspired youth orchestra programs—Play On, Philly! and the Harmony Program in Harlem, NYC. The film is free and open to the public.

Stanford is a native of Atlanta, GA and holds degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory’s Abreu Fellows Program.

Conservatory Dean Peter Witte notes, "Nationally, Stanford Thompson is one to watch.  A superb musician, educator, and leader, Stanford guide's the El Sistema inspired Play On Philly, a program that has secured more than $4 million for music education in Philadelphia.  We're honored to invite him to Kansas City as our second Francis Family Foundation Musical Bridges Fellow."

Academy director Mara Gibson said, “By continuing to bring nationally recognized artists such as Stanford to Kansas City, we will magnify the prominence of urban music education and arts advocacy in our region.  Thanks to the Francis Family Foundation for helping us to make it happen.”  

We’d like to acknowledge the UMKC Conservatory and Academy’s partners for the event, including the school districts of Kansas City, Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri, and Hickman Mills; UMKC Black Studies, Adrienne Walker Hoard; and the UMKC Division of Diversity and Inclusion.

To make reservations for the luncheon, please call our reservation line, 816-235-2963.  Click here for more information.  Tickets are $75 per person. 




For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949