Stanley J. Thurston

Director of Music and Worship Arts


Stanley J. Thurston

Stanley J. Thurston is the Director of Music and Worship Arts Foundry United Methodist Church, having started as our Director of Music Ministires in 2008. He is also currently the Artist in Residence at Washington National Cathedral, Artistic Director Emeritus of Choirs with Washington Performing Arts, and founding Artistic Director of The Heritage Signature Chorale. He is a graduate of Morgan State University and the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen (Colorado).

Previous positions have included Choirmaster and Organist at Sixth Presbyterian Church (DC), Minister of Music First Baptist Church (Randolph Street, NW, DC), Music Director at National City Christian Church (DC), Music Director for The Gospel at Colonus, Georgetown University, Music Director and Conductor IN Series (DC), Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra’s NSO In Your Neighborhood concert series, Principal Conductor of the Municipal Opera Company of Baltimore, and guest clinician for D.C. Commission on the Arts “DC Choral Masterpieces” workshop.

Stanley has appeared as conductor in concert venues including Carnegie Hall, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall, the U.S. Capitol; The Music Center at Strathmore, Carter Barron Amphitheater; DAR Constitution Hall, Arena Stage; the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at University of Maryland, the Washington Hebrew Congregation, Washington National Cathedral, and the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Baltimore, MD).

He has appeared as guest conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, the Soulful Symphony, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Civic Symphony, Prince Georges Philharmonic, and Washington Symphony Orchestra.

Choruses under his direction have performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Washington Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Festival Orchestra, Joffrey Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the Royal Ballet. Mr. Thurston is well known as a pianist, composer, and arranger.

Stanley’s published choral compositions are currently available through GIA Publications in Chicago, IL. His orchestral arrangements have been performed by the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, New Jersey, and the National Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared, as conductor, on NBC’s Today Show, and with such well-known artists as Denyce Graves, Kathleen Battle, the Canadian Brass, Sweet Honey in the Rock and jazz legends Ramsey Lewis and Wynton Marsalis.

He has served as Panelist for the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and conductor of Washington’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concerts at The Kennedy Center, and was commissioned by the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee to compose and conduct a special musical tribute for President Obama’s National Prayer Service at the Washington National Cathedral.

Stanley also served as choirmaster for the 250-voice Beethoven 9 Symphony Chorus which opened The REACH at The Kennedy Center; conducted The Heritage Signature Chorale at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, and HSC’s debut concert at Carnegie Hall. At Foundry UMC, he has conducted numerous oratorios with choir, soloists and orchestra for Special Music presentations for Sunday worship.

Stanley lives in Maryland. He enjoys gardening, cooking and a variety of music genres.

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