Joan Patrick Stafford

1930 -  

Joan Patrick Stafford, a pianist and trumpet player, is an independent piano teacher and church organist in Danville, Kentucky. She started her career as an adjunct piano teacher at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Michigan, and later served as adjunct piano and trumpet teacher at Centre College of Kentucky in Danville.

Stafford was born and raised in Michigan. She had the good fortune of being able to attend the Interlochen Music Camp in the summer between her junior and senior year of high school and then at the University of Michigan where she completed a B.Mus. in piano in 1952, studying under Helen Titus.

She was also an accomplished trumpet player who studied under Clifford Lillya and played in the famed UM Concert Band, under the direction of William Revelli, a group nationally known for its musical excellence,. Three generations of her family have played in the UM marching band in the annual Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, California.

Stafford played on a Bach Stradivarius trumpet. She later talked about how she came to own what is now regarded as a prized and valuable instrument:

I worked all summer at the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island as a waitress to earn the money to buy the trumpet. My teacher was able to get it for me at a discount because I was a student. Since I no longer am able to play, I gave it to my granddaughter, who is in a high school in Michigan and is now playing it and taking lessons.

While living near Andrews University, Stafford worked on her master's degree, taking lessons and practicing four hours a day and taking a class at a time, while raising five children. She completed an M.Mus. in piano at Andrews University in 1975, studying under Blythe Owen.

A Methodist, she has played piano and organ in the Danville Methodist Church for over thirty years. During her career she was president of the Danville branch of the American Association of University Women and president of the Lexington Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.


Source: Class Notes, Andrews University alumni magazine, Focus, Spring 2000; Conversation with Joan Stafford, November 2010.