K.J. Stafford has been involved with Drum Corps International for over two decades, currently serving as the Assistant Percussion Caption Head for the Santa Clara Vanguard where he has worked since 2011. During that time, 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).
K.J.’s arrangements for marching band, indoor drumline and percussion ensemble have been performed throughout the United States. Ensembles performing his music include champions, medalists and finalists at numerous national and regional championships in Winter Guard International, Bands of America as well as other performing arts circuits.
Currently residing in Chesapeake, Virginia, K.J. is the band director and music department chair at Hickory Middle School. His responsibilities include directing the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade bands, jazz band, woodwind choir and percussion ensembles. Under his direction, the bands at Hickory Middle School have consistently received superior ratings at state concert band festivals and have been invited 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 in Denton, TX. While at North Texas, he studied under Paul Rennick, Christopher Deane, Mark Ford and Dr. Robert Schietroma. He has also earned a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.
When not teaching at home or with the drum corps, K.J. is in demand as an arranger, adjudicator, clinician, designer and instructor with groups throughout the United States. His professional affiliations include the Percussive Arts Society, NAfME and VMEA. K.J. endorses Innovative Percussion, Remo Drumheads and SABIAN Cymbals.