Active as an organist, pianist, conductor, and accompanist, Joshua Stafford recently graduated from the Yale University School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music with a Master’s Degree in Organ Performance and the Certificate in Church Music. His principal teachers at Yale were Thomas Murray (organ) and Jeffrey Brillhart (improvisation). The recipient of both a full-tuition scholarship and the Robert Baker Award, which is granted each year to the most promising incoming organ student, he currently serves as Organist and Choirmaster at St. Andrew’s Parish in Stamford, Connecticut. Joshua received the Bachelor of Music degree from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 2010, where he was a full-tuition scholarship student of Alan Morrison.
Joshua has performed numerous recitals across the country, including at such notable venues as Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Princeton University Chapel, Ocean Grove Auditorium, Spivey Hall in Atlanta, and Ursinus College. A regular perform on the world’s largest outdoor organ, the Massey Memorial Organ at the Chautauqua Institution, he was also an Assistant Organist at the world’s largest organ, the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ in Philadelphia. Additionally, he has been a featured performer on the nationally syndicated radio show, Pipedreams, and WRTI’s Wanamaker Organ Hour. As a collaborative musician, Joshua has performed with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the Curtis Opera Orchestra, the Temple University Concert Choir, the Bach Collegium of Philadelphia, Conservatory Brass, the Dolce Suono Ensemble, and the Buxtehude Consort. From 2008-2010, he served as the accompanist for the Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia, performing such works as the Bach Mass in b minor, and Pärt Te Deum. In 2009, Joshua traveled to England for an extensive tour with the choirs of the Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr. While there he played concerts and services in many historic venues, including Gloucester Cathedral, Lincoln Cathedral, St. Alban’s Cathedral, Hereford Cathedral, Tewkesbury Abbey, the Royal Naval College Chapel in Greenwich, and St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. An accomplished improvisor, Joshua has improvised in recital at Yale University, and Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, Bryn Mawr, PA, and the Oberlin Conservatory, where he taught an introductory course in improvisation to high school organists.
A native of Jamestown, NY, Joshua began piano studies at the age of six. His interest in the organ was sparked at a Pipe Organ Excursion held by the Chautauqua, NY chapter of the American Guild of Organists that he attended at the age of ten. Joshua’s previous teachers include Jared Jacobsen and James Bigham. Former positions include Assistant Organist at St. Mark’s Church, Philadelphia, Assistant Director of Music at the Church of the Redeemer in Bryn Mawr, and the Organ Scholar at the historic Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge.
Picture: Joshua with Prof. Thomas Murray, chair of the Organ Department, at Yale University’s Newberry Memorial Organ.