Stanley J. Thurston is the founding Music Director of The Heritage Signature Chorale. He 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, University of Maryland; the Washington Hebrew Congregation; Washington National Cathedral; and the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, in Baltimore, MD. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, the Soulful Symphony, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Civic Symphony, Prince Georges Philharmonic, Washington Symphony Orchestra, and the National 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. His orchestral arrangements have been performed by the symphony orchestras of Baltimore, New Jersey, and the National Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared, as conductor, 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, as well as NBC’s Today Show. He recently served as Panelist for the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, was guest conductor with the Choral Arts Society of Washington’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert, 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.
A graduate of the American Academy of Conducting at Apsen, he made his European opera conducting debut in Verdi’s La Traviata with Romania’s Opera Constanta, returning to conduct Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Previous positions have included Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra’s NSO In Your Neighborhood concert series, Choirmaster, Sixth Presbyterian Church; Interim Music Director of National City Christian Church, Music Director for The Gospel at Colonus, Georgetown University; Minister of Music, First Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.; Principal Conductor of the Municipal Opera Company of Baltimore; and guest clinician for D.C. Commission on the Arts “DC Choral Masterpieces” workshop.
He is currently Washington Performing Arts Society’s Artistic Director of Gospel Choirs and the Director of Music at Foundry United Methodist Church, Washington, D.C.