In conjunction with his prowess as an educator, Stanbery led a fruitful life as a composer. His composition, SYMPHONY NO.2: FOUNDATIONS was nominated for a Pulitzer prize in music in 2012. The symphony premiered in October 2012 under the baton of Stanbery with the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra. Stanbery’s work was also featured on the Navona Records album FRESH DIMENSIONS, with his piece entitled Robert McCloskey: The Life for Me, and as conductor of the Stanbery Singers, his choral performances appeared on the Navona albums DASHING (2016) and CADENCE (2016).
In his final days, Stanbery was hard at work composing an oratorio entitled The Golden Door, which will be presented at Carnegie Hall in 2022. The patriotic piece encapsulates the powerful feelings of those arriving at Ellis Island in pursuit of the American dream. Stanbery spoke on the piece in one of his final Facebook posts.
“It’s all about the Ellis Island experience of about 100 years ago. It’s quite a tale. I may not hear it live, but I’ll be there, floating above the Carnegie Hall stage, making comments and mainly glorying at the wonder of it all.”
Stanbery’s successor on the Butler Philharmonic Podium, Scott Woodward, will conduct the concert.