K.J. Stafford is a full-time music arranger, educator, adjudicator and consultant with over 20 years of experience teaching, writing and designing for band programs and percussion ensembles throughout the United States. Ensembles performing his music include champions, medalists and finalists at national and regional championships in Winter Guard International, Bands of America, and other performing arts circuits.
K.J. has been involved with Drum Corps International for almost two decades. He currently serves as the Assistant Percussion Caption Head for the Santa Clara Vanguard. Since joining the staff in 2011, Vanguard has earned five Fred Sanford Awards for Best Percussion: 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 as well as the DCI World Championship in 2018. Prior to working at Vanguard, K.J. also taught on the percussion staff of the Phantom Regiment (2010 DCI High Percussion Champions) and the Troopers (2007-2009). In addition to his teaching and design roles, K.J. also frequently judges and presents clinics throughout the United States and is an active adjudicator with Winter Guard International.
From 2006-2022, KJ was the band director and music department chair at Hickory Middle School in Chesapeake, Virginia. His responsibilities included directing the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade bands, jazz band, woodwind choir and percussion ensembles. Under his direction, the bands at Hickory Middle School consistently received superior ratings at state concert band festivals and were selected to perform at the Virginia Music Educators State Conference.
K.J. earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia K.J. proudly endorses Innovative Percussion, Remo Drumheads, SABIAN Cymbals and Pearl Drums.
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