The music on "I Am" is 25 years in the making. These five tracks represent the culmination of the person my experiences have fashioned.
My plan was to be a high school band director...to complete my B.M. in Music Education, pursue a graduate degree at an institution to be decided (in a field to be decided), and to go forth and provide the kind of life-changing high school music experience I had the great fortune of enjoying. That plan quickly changed when I discovered my love for modern jazz composition while in my junior year of undergraduate study at James Madison University. While my life plan continued down the path to music academia, my compositional discovery has veered it into exciting, yet unforeseen directions. I ended up earning my M.M. in Jazz Composition from the New England Conservatory of Music. It was there that the group now known as the Omar Thomas Large Ensemble began. The five tracks that comprise our first and forthcoming album, "I Am," were composed during this very important time of self-discovery.
The most exciting aspect of my journey into composition thus far has been meeting my creative self for the first time. When creative people first explore our talents, we tend to filter them by emulating those who inspire us most. As we continue to grow in our gifts, our idiosyncrasies begin to flourish, and it is in these moments that we truly see ourselves for the first time. Reflecting on the five pieces that comprise this album is literally an out-of-body experience, as I am able to see myself more completely than ever before. It is for this reason that "I Am" could bear no other name. It is the truest reflection of my identity, shaped by the joys and trials of my life, and the people with whom I've shared them. Your support in helping me realize this album makes you a part of my story. I cannot begin to thank you enough for your contribution towards helping me realize this dream.
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