Omar Thomas

Assistant Professor

"I use music to teach music. Music theory can be very daunting and frightening to look at, but what it represents is something that is so universal. I'm really about getting past the scary terms, symbols, dots, and lines and getting to what they represent. I'm a huge advocate of talking about not how music sounds but how it feels, to instantly make that connection."

"As a result of my teaching, I hope that students walk around and listen to music in a completely different way and that they feel the music in a different way. I hope that the love and the passion I have is contagious. I hope they see the musical world through different ears."

"I teach the way I do because I think that's the way I learned all of this material. I think about how I made all these connections for myself, through studying classical trombone, studying jazz, and what I did to get to that point. I try to use that to teach my classes. As a composer, all the stuff I put on the board is what I use in my professional work. It's fun for me to go back, make connections, and look analytically at the music."

Career Highlights

 

  • B.M., James Madison University
  • M.M., New England Conservatory
  • Composer, arranger, and trombonist