J. Aaron Stanley is an active freelance composer, arranger, and trumpeter currently living in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. 


As Composer & Arranger

Stanley is currently the composer in residence of the Irving Symphony Orchestra for the 2019-2020 season, where his work Huapango de los Muertos for Symphony Orchestra was premiered on Feb. 22, 2020.  


Stanley has written a number of concert works for many different types of ensembles. His composition Celestial Orbits, a musical palindrome for Wind Ensemble, was recently premiered by the SMU Meadows Wind Ensemble in October 2019. His composition Heroes & Villains for Wind Ensemble won the 2010 Penfield Music Commission Project Composition Contest, and the 2011 Cal State Bakersfield Composition Competition. Each resulted in a public performance of the work. His arrangement, Carol of the Bells for British Brass Band won “Best Arrangement” in the 2005 Northrop International Brass Band Composition Contest. The orchestral version is occasionally rented through Janen Music Rentals

He was recently commissioned to compose Metamorphosis: A Butterfly’s Journey of Transformation by Dr. Cara Pollard for the Imbroglio Sextet, which was professionally recorded in Spain in August 2019, and is slated to be premiered later in 2020. Huapango de los Muertos was commissioned by Dr. William Haugeberg for Trombone and String Quartet, and was premiered at the International Trombone Festival in July 2019. It is scheduled to be professionally recorded later this year. 

He recently completed his first one-act musical theater opera, which was workshopped by the SMU opera department, and slated for performance in Spring 2020—until the COVID-19 pandemic canceled all performances. Before that, he had collaborated on several (unfinished) musical theater projects, writing a number of songs.

He composed music for a number of short films while living in Los Angeles, conducting his own recording sessions. Recorded excerpts can be found here.

Aaron’s music tends to have a bit of cinematic flair combined with rhythmic drive, colorful orchestration, often bold harmonies, attention to craft, and more recently, experimentation with musical palindromes at the motivic and structural level, such as Chakras and Celestial Orbits.  His music is also increasingly incorporating elements of jazz due to his history as a jazz musician. 


As arranger, Aaron has written over 150 arrangements in many different styles (classical, jazz, commercial, sacred) for many types of ensembles from small combos to full symphony orchestra.

He is currently studying for a Master of Music Composition at Southern Methodist University, returning to finish his Master's Degree after a number of years working as a professional musician. He has studied composition with Dr. John Prescott, Dr. Michael Murray, Dr. Carolyn Bremer, and Dr. Robert Frank. 

As Performer & Band Leader


As a performer, Aaron remains active performing many different styles and with many different types of ensembles from classical to jazz and commercial, and from small chamber ensembles, pit orchestras, and jazz combos to full big band, wind ensemble, and symphony orchestra. 


He has worked several cruise ship contracts as a show band musician with Princess and Carnival Cruises. 


As a jazz musician he has organized his own ensembles as band leader – a jazz combo, a 10-piece swing band, a dixieland band, and other ensembles for private events and parties. 


He has a B.M. in trumpet performance from Missouri State University, and has studied with Dr. Neill Seipp, Michael Casey, Dr. Grant Peters, and has taken lessons with Pops McLaughlan, Adrian Griffin, and Ryan Anthony.

He is also active as a trumpet teacher, with a private studio made up of students from all over the DFW metroplex.

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©2019 by J. Aaron Stanley.