Michael Stanley is a Los Angeles-based musician - conductor, French Horn player and music educator. He enjoys a rich and varied career, and is ever expanding into new fields of study and performance.
Background photo by Belen Martinez
Michael Stanley began his conducting career at the age of 18 when he founded and directed the Stanley Wind Ensemble, an elite wind band in the Ventura County area. The group performed summer concerts for ten years to critical acclaim, with the Los Angeles Times’ Josef Woodard declaring in 1992 that “…the ensemble performed beautifully.” During this time, he also conducted numerous pit orchestras throughout Southern California in shows ranging from Sweeney Todd to Jesus Christ Superstar.
Mr. Stanley is currently a Doctoral student in Conducting at Claremont Graduate University, where he studies with Dr. David Rentz. He received his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from California State University, Long Beach in 2007, where he studied under Dr. Richard Rintoul. He has also studied conducting with Jeffrey Schindler, Markand Thakar, Donald Schleicher, Kenneth Kiesler, Marin Alsop, Donald Neuen, and Keith Brion. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music summa cum laude from UCLA in 1995, majoring in French Horn with Richard Todd.
Mr. Stanley is in his fifth season as the Assistant Conductor of the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra, with whom he has conducted concerts at numerous venues, including the famed Ambassador Auditorium. He is also the Principal Conductor of Pipe Dream Flutes, a Los Angeles-based flute choir. Prior to these engagements, he was Assistant Conductor with numerous groups, including orchestras at Idyllwild Arts, the Colburn School, and Cal State Long Beach.
Mr. Stanley is an Adjunct Professor of Music at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, CA, where he has conducted the Symphony of the Canyons. He is also a Teaching Artist for the Young Musicians Foundation, where he brings the joy of music to students in underserved populations.
Prior to these appointments, Mr. Stanley garnered outstanding recognition for his teaching during his nineteen-year public school teaching career. At Burbank High School, he was awarded “Teacher of the Year” in 2016. His bands and orchestras earned many Superior ratings, including a string of Unanimous Superiors and 1st place awards. At Walter Reed Middle School, his groups earned consistent Superior ratings and his Jazz Band performed at the CMEA All-State Convention in 2002.
Mr. Stanley is proud to have served as a master teacher for the music education programs of California State University, Northridge and UCLA. Since 2003, he has mentored numerous student teachers, many of whom have gone on to successful careers of their own. Mr. Stanley also serves as an adjudicator and clinician at many area music festivals.
As a performer, Mr. Stanley has played French Horn in many local ensembles, including the Burbank Philharmonic, the Topanga Symphony and the Ron Jones Influence Jazz Orchestra, as well as trumpet with the Lane 29 Jazz Orchestra and viola in the orchestras of Cal State Long Beach and Pasadena City College.