From Stanton Lanier's "2011 Most Notable Sacred Music" selection for A Thousand Years (Christianity Today) to his "2009 Best Holiday Album" December Peace (ZMR Music Awards, winning over Enya and Yo-Yo Ma), the words "calming, soothing, and uplifting" have become a universal description by a global listening audience. His mission to offer “peace and rest in a hurried world” is accomplished through instrumental piano, exquisite visuals and captivating stories from his life and music. Some of Stanton's favorite concert moments are when he interacts with the audience, demonstrating how he composes, and involving them in the creation of a new melody right before their eyes (and ears).
Stanton's unlikely beginnings as a chemist and then a financial planner beg for a fuller understanding of how he came to create seven albums, with four produced by Windham Hill Records Founder William Ackerman. He began piano lessons at age six growing up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He wanted to quit piano in middle school because of basketball, but his parents didn’t let him. Stanton wrote his first song at age fourteen in Milton, Florida and continued to play and write songs while completing a chemistry degree at Georgia Tech and an MBA at the University of Georgia. Five years into seemingly successful consulting and sales jobs, "career surrender" is the self-described state that found the thirty-year old artist in 1994 struggling to find his purpose.
While still working as a financial planner, Stanton’s first three self-produced recordings gave rise to a deeper and more urgent calling to completely let go of the practical direction his career was taking. "Walk in the Light," "Still Waters" and "Draw Near" were produced between 2000 and 2004 using his keyboard and computer. In 2003 two tracks from "Still Waters" were played on The Weather Channel’s "Local on the 8s," leading to CD orders from thirty states and listener testimonies from homes, businesses and hospitals across the U.S.
In 2004 Stanton sent an email to the legendary Will Ackerman, Grammy® Award winning guitarist and Founder of Windham Hill Records, asking him if he would produce his 4th album. Will accepted and brought Stanton to the George Lucas Skywalker Sound Studio in California to record "The Voice." This special friendship and professional relationship between two great artists has spanned seven years and four albums. Ackerman says, "Stanton is among the finest pianists and composers on the contemporary scene . . . his original compositions and brilliant arrangements are filled with soaring inspiration and remarkable peace . . . they add beauty and peace to a world deeply in need of it."
"Unveiled" was released in 2008, and the music reach expanded across radio, television and the internet, including Music Choice's "Soundscapes" cable channel, Sirius-XM Radio's "Spa" channel, Les Mills BodyBalance workout DVDs, Lifetime TV's highest rated show Army Wives, NPR, Delilah and Solo Piano Radio. "December Peace" (2009), a signature collection of traditional and original melodies, is described by leading instrumental reviewer Bill Binkelman as "easily considered the long-hoped for sequel to George Winston’s now undeniable classic December."
Stanton founded Music to Light the World 501(c)(3) in 2004, with a vision to offer hope and healing. Get Music Give Hope is a program where for every album purchased, one album is donated to a cancer center or hospital (over 10,000 CDs have been donated each year since 2010). Stanton lives in Atlanta with his wife and two children, and enjoys sports and cooking. One of his favorite quotes is "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive" (Wild at Heart by John Eldredge).