Play On, Philly! founder on the importance of helping children through music

Posted on: August 23, 2013

On Wednesday (8/21) Stanford Thompson writes at his blog Orchestras Everywhere about how he is hoping to change society with Play On, Philly!, the El Sistema-inspired music-education program he founded in Philadelphia. “Throughout middle school, high school, and college, I had the opportunity to learn from the best musical training possible, giving me the required structure of support to ensure my track to success. However, … it bothered me to watch school kids get music programs slashed while I was loading a bus for my sixth performance in Carnegie Hall…. During my last semester at Curtis [Institute of Music], a friend sent me a video of the founder of Venezuela’s El Sistema program, Dr. Jose Antonio Abreu, accepting the 2009 TED Prize.… His message made me reflect on the opportunities I received growing up…. After attending the New England Conservatory’s Abreu (Sistema) Fellows Program, I returned to Philadelphia to establish Play On, Philly!…. Eight years ago, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra helped me find my voice as I made my solo debut with the Hummel Trumpet Concerto, and the impact is living on to the lives of hundreds of children in Philadelphia.”

Posted August 23, 2013