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Former AYWS member Stanford Thompson serves as the Founder and Executive Director for the El Sistema-inspired program, Play On, Philly! and the Chairman of El Sistema USA. He also serves on the boards of the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Philadelphia chapter of the American Composers Forum, and as Chairman of The Curtis Institute of Music Alumni Council.
 
Stanford is a musician and educator who is passionate about using music for social action, and he regularly contributes to the communities of TED, the League of American Orchestras, and El Sistema-inspired initiatives around the world. Trained as a professional trumpeter, Stanford has performed and soloed with major orchestras around the world while actively performing chamber music and jazz. 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.