John Stanley was born in London on 17 January 1712. At about the age of two, he had the misfortune to fall on a marble hearth with a china basin in his hand, an accident which left him almost blind. He began studying music at the age of seven. Under the guidance of Maurice Greene, composer and organist at St. Paul's Cathedral At the age of 17 he became the youngest person ever to obtain the Bachelor of Music degree at Oxford University. In 1734 he was appointed organist to the Society of the Inner Temple - a position which he held until his death in 1786. It was at the ancient Temple Church that his brilliant playing upon the organ and harpsichord attracted the attention of many fine musicians including George Frideric Handel who regularly visited the church to hear him. Stanley was also an outstanding violinist. In 1779 Stanley succeeded William Boyce as Master of the King's Band of musicians. In this capacity he composed many New Year and Birthday odes to the King but unfortunately this music has not survived. He died at his home in Hatton Garden on 19 May 1786 aged 74. His organ works include three volumes of voluntaries for organ (1748, 1752, and 1754). Nearly all of the voluntaries feature a short, slow introduction followed by either a solo-stop movement (such as the so-called trumpet voluntaries) or a fugue.
This one, one of the nicest, is the first in the collection of the three "sets" of pieces. In the key of C, it begins with the diapason prelude, followed by a "trumpet andante" which features the trumpets of the Hoofdwerk and Bovenwerk (box almost shut) in dialogue. Then comes a short passage to be played on the "Swell". For this I used the Bovenwerk Vox Humana as the solo voice. Finally there is an extended section that played on the "Ecchos" which features a "cornet-like combination" on the Hoofdwerk in diaogue with the "flute" which uses the flutes 8' and 2' of the Bovenwerk.