Sanford Jones, a native of Virginia, began his musical education at age six with piano study. Singing in school and church choirs throughout his grammar and secondary education, he also began to direct his church choir at age sixteen. He attended Westminster Choir College and sang in Westminster Choir under the direction of John Finley Williamson. A piano and pedagogy major, he was a student of Frances Clark and Elvina Truman Pearce. He also studied composition with David Kraehenbuehl. He received his B. A. in History from Roanoke College, Salem, VA.
Over a twenty year period, while living in Washington DC and New York City, he and his two-piano partner, Martha Braden, concertized widely in the USA and in Mexico.
Trained in Montessori in Washington, D.C. and Bergamo, Italy at both pre-school and elementary levels, Sanford has founded four Montessori schools on the East Coast and has served as Executive Director of the Association Montessori Internationale-USA and as founding president of the North American Montessori Teachers’ Association. He has consulted with schools and is in great demand as a workshop facilitator. He has trained Montessori teachers for the Association Montessori Internationale and the American Montessori Society. He served as resident teacher-trainer for the Charles Ellis Montessori School for twelve years and as the Director of Training at the Coastal Empire Montessori Charter School in Savannah, GA, conducting training for the teachers, assistants, and parents for three years.
He is the composer of thirteen children’s operas and three songbooks for children, as well as numerous choral pieces for church and school choirs. He and his wife and collaborator Judy Jones, a former Broadway dancer, travel each season to five Montessori schools coast-to-coast and abroad, co-directing their productions for elementary-age children. Their operas have been performed throughout the US and in Japan, Switzerland, The Bahamas and other countries.
As an educator as well as a musician, Sanford views opera as the natural vehicle to expose children to the classical genre, as it incorporates singing, dancing and acting in a unified experience. As a Montessorian, he advocates the integration of all curriculum areas, including the arts, to aid in the development of the integrated individual. His materials created for the Montessori classroom in areas, of science, biology, music and culture can be viewed at www.youthoperaintl.com