John Stafford II is currently Associate Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities, and Co-Chair of the Music Department at Kansas City Kansas Community College. Professor Stafford was a 2015 recipient of the John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award for outstanding teaching and leadership at the community college level. He has also received two teaching awards, within the past two years, from KCKCC for Recruitment and Teaching Excellence. He was previously appointed at Millikin University, Eastern Illinois University, and Danville Area Community College teaching composition, theory, orchestration, history, and vocal jazz. He holds degrees from Millikin University (music business), Bowling Green State University (composition), and has done additional doctoral studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (choral conducting). Among his professional activities, Professor Stafford serves as the Jazz Chair of the Kansas Choral Directors Association; he is also a member of National Association for Music Educators, Jazz Educators Network, and American Choral Directors Association. Also, Stafford has served as Director of Choral Music at Community Christian Church in Kansas City, MO since 2014.
Professor Stafford’s top vocal ensemble, The Standard, is an award-winning vocal jazz ensemble from Kansas City Kansas Community College. They have been invited performed at national conferences of the National Association for Music Education and American Choral Directors Association. The Standard has also performed at the Kansas Music Educators Association In-Service Workshop, the New York Voices Jazz Festival, and New York City Jazz Festival at Jazz at the Lincoln Center. Within the last two years, members of the ensemble have won a three Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards for Outstanding Performance, Live Engineered Recording, and Studio Engineered Recording in the Community College category. They had also received a number #1 rating at the University of Northern Colorado/Greeley Jazz Festival and has performed three times at the JENerations Jazz Festival as a part of the Jazz Educators Network National Conference. Within the past couple of years, the group has shared the stage with such highly acclaimed artists as, Take 6, m-pact, Carmen Bradford, Dianne Reeves and Marilyn Maye. This concert season, besides performing at the NAfME National Conference, The Standard will perform on stage in Kansas City with The New York Voices and will release their first studio recording, entitled Feelin’ Good.