Sanford Jones’s Workshop Sessions
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, DC 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 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 ten Montessori schools coast-to-coast, co-directing their productions for elementary-age children.
Sanford’s most recent opera, On the Road to Freedom, received its premiere performance at Countryside Montessori School in Northbrook, Illinois on May 7, 2004. It has since been performed at Montessori schools in Oakland, CA, Durham, NC, Atlanta and Savannah, GA and Grand Rapids, MI.
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.
Sanford is currently Director of Training at the newly-formed Coastal Empire Montessori Charter School (public) in Savannah, GA. He is able to use that setting as a laboratory for showing the trainees how the music curriculum is implemented with children, as part of their training is to accompany their students to the weekly music classes that Sanford conducts.