Stanford earned a Bachelor of Music from The Curtis Institute of Music where he held the William A. Loeb fellowship and is a graduate of New England Conservatory's Abreu Fellows Program. 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 enjoys an active schedule of community engagement events that has lead to over one hundred presentations, master classes and lectures around the world. In 2004, Stanford served as the founding Director of Operations for the Atlanta Trumpet Festival, in 2008 he founded the Reading Summer Music Institute where he continues to serves as Artistic Director, and in 2009 he founded the All-City Brass Symposium in relationship with the School District of Philadelphia hosted by The Curtis Institute of Music. The summer of 2009 brought a special invitation to consult and implement one of the first instrumental music programs in Kenya through the Meru Music Project where he trained music teachers, taught children, and continues to guide the program. Stanford is currently the Director of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra's El Sistema-inspired program, Tune Up Philly.
Stanford was born and raised in a musical family in Decatur, Georgia where 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 and earned the rank of Eagle Scout.