Stanford Leon Thompson

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Stanford Thompson is a musician and educator who serves as the Founder and Executive Director of Play On Philly and Founding Board Chairman of El Sistema USA and the National Instrumentalist Mentoring and Advancement Network. Recognized as a TED Fellow, Stanford believes that music is a powerful tool for positive personal and community change. Mr. Thompson serves on the faculty of the Global Leaders Program and regularly presents for major arts and business conferences, institutions, and stakeholders about leadership, entrepreneurship and social justice. As a principal of Goldsmith Strategies, he has guided the strategic development of dozens of organizations across the United States while collaborating with local and national initiatives to develop new strategies and programs that provide equitable access to the arts. As a professional trumpeter, Stanford has performed as a soloist and member with major orchestras around the world and continues to perform throughout the Philadelphia region. Stanford is a native of Atlanta, GA, a graduate of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program and holds degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory’s Sistema Fellows Program.

Photo: Todd Rosenberg