Paul John Stanbery is currently Music Director of the Hamilton Fairfield Symphony, Ohio Mozart Festival, Great Miami Youth Symphony and has been Associate Conductor of the Lima Symphony in Ohio. Guest appearances have included the Western Piedmont Symphony, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, The University of Cincinnati, and the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. He is a regular guest with the Miami University Symphony Orchestra.
A native of Toledo OH, Stanbery studied at Bowling Green State University and The University of Cincinnati. His mentors and teachers included conducting studies with Emil Raab, Ivan Trusler, Robert Porco, and John Leman. He studied composition with Wallace DePue and H. Owen Reed. He was also the founder and conductor of the Blue Ash-Montgomery Symphony, as well as the Clermont Philharmonic Orchestra.
In November of 2005, Stanbery won the prestigious Post-Corbett Award (Performing Artist Division). Given every other year, the Post-Corbett Award is the equivalent of a Cincinnati-regional Pulitzer Prize, recognizing outstanding achievement in the arts. Stanbery is the first conductor so honored who was not associated with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
His Second Symphony Foundations was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in music for 2012. It received its premiere in October 2012 by the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of the composer to a wildly enthusiastic audience. Repeat performances are planned by several orchestras.
As Associate Conductor for the Cincinnati May Festival, he collaborated with such noted conductors as the late Robert Shaw, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, James Conlon, Robert Porco, the late Eric Kunzel, Ivan Fischer, Kenneth Jean, and Keith Lockhart for performances in Carnegie Hall, Cincinnati’s Music Hall, and the Riverbend Music Center. Stanbery served as chorus-master for Telarc’s recordings of the Cincinnati Pops’ The Hunt for Red October, and the Cincinnati Symphony production of the opera La Vida Breve by Manuel DeFalla.
He spent nineteen years as Music Director of All Saints Parish and School in Cincinnati, and has been an educator for over thirty years, including work in several Toledo area schools. In 2002, Stanbery was appointed Music Minister at Hamilton’s Historic Presbyterian Church, and then assumed the same role at St. Peter In Chains Church in Hamilton from 2008 to 2013. He presently is Minister of Music at Zion Lutheran Church in Hamilton.
The HFSO Chorale was founded by Stanbery in 1997, and performed in Carnegie Hall with John Rutter on May 30, 2005 in a command performance of Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem. Stanbery is also the founder and Artistic Director of Hamilton’s Ohio Mozart Festival. Now in its seventeenth year, The Ohio Mozart Festival remains the only one of its kind in the Midwest, having presented over 200 separate performances of Mozart.
The “American Masters” Concerts of the HFSO, initiated by Stanbery, bring a living distiguished composer to the community for a week, culminating in a concert featuring their works. This series continues to draw national attention from Symphony Magazine, the official publication of the League of American Orchestras. Chester Lane called the HFSO: “One of America’s high-octane smaller budget orchestras.” To date, the HFSO has presented numerous world premiers, and has featured collaborations with several Pulitzer Prize winning composers.
Composers featured read like a “who’s who” in American composition and include H. Owen Reed, Robert Ward, Thomas Benjamin, James Niblock, Charles Lloyd, Ronnie Kole, Wallace Depue, Philip Koplow, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, and Michael Daugherty.