1. Testimony - 6:30
2. Shout! - 5:35
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
- Bass Drum
- Drum Set (crash cymbal, mounted tambourine, kick drum)
- Splash Cymbals, 8 and 10 inch
- Suspended Cymbal
None discovered thus far.
I played trombone in wind ensembles from the 4th grade through college. This experience has contributed significantly to the life I lead now. I had the pleasure of being exposed to sounds, colors, moods, rhythms, and melodies from all over the world. Curiously absent, however, was music told authentically from the African-American experience. In particular, I couldn’t understand how it was that no composer ever thought to tell the story of a black worship experience through the lens of a wind ensemble. I realize now that a big part of this was an issue of representation. One of the joys and honors of writing music for wind ensemble is that I get to write music that I wish had existed when I was playing in these groups -- music that told the story of the black experience via black composers. I am so grateful to Dr. Tony Marinello and the Illinois State University Wind Symphony for leading an incredible consortium that brought this piece to life. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to hanging with Tony and the group for a week in about a month’s time!
Come Sunday is a two-movement tribute to the Hammond organ’s central role in black worship services. The first movement, Testimony, follows the Hammond organ as it readies the congregation's hearts, minds, and spirits to receive The Word via a magical union of Bach, blues, jazz, and R&B. The second movement, Shout!, is a virtuosic celebration -- the frenzied and joyous climactic moment(s) when The Spirit has taken over the service. The title is a direct nod to Duke Ellington, who held an inspired love for classical music and allowed it to influence his own work in a multitude of ways. To all the black musicians in wind ensemble who were given opportunity after opportunity to celebrate everyone else’s music but our own -- I see you and I am you. This one’s for the culture!
- Program Note by composer
Singing is a part of the African American experience in the church and has been used in church to worship, provide different forms of communication, and create a sense of relief and encouragement. Hallmarks of the church experience such as the call-and-response method and the hymn-lining traditions are rooted in the history of slaves not being able to read. Both methods featured a leader reading the scripture and then the congregation repeating the material, signifying their understanding of the information.
The services transitions from hand claps and stomps to instruments in the early twentieth century during the beginning of the gospel era. The invention of the Hammond organ changed the church service, The Hammond organ became a cheaper alternative to the pipe organ and strengthened the ability to play melodies, harmonies and rhythmic accompaniments, becoming the foundation of the church services. Come Sunday represents this church tradition through the Hammond organ's role and provides an understanding of this individualized experience.
- Program Note from Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Vol. 12
- National Band Association Revelli Composition Contest, 2019, winner
- Audio: Reference recording. Illinois State University (Normal) Symphonic Winds (Anthony Marinello, III, conductor)
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- World Youth Wind Symphony (Interlochen, Mich.) (Stephen G. Peterson, conductor) – 31 July 2021
- Florida State University (Tallahassee) Wind Ensemble (Patrick Dunnigan, conductor) - 13 April 2021
- University of Central Florida (Orlando) Wind Ensemble (Scott Luberoff, conductor) - 8 April 2021
- Luther College (Decorah, Ia.) Concert Band (Cory Near, conductor) - 21 March 2021
- Winds of the Houston (Tx.) Symphony (Steven Reineke, conductor) - 20 March 2021
- College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University (St. Joseph, Minn.) Wind Ensemble (Justin Zanchuk, conductor) - 12 February 2021
- Texas A&M University (College Station) Wind Symphony (Timothy Rhea, conductor) - 18 October 2020
- Elmhurst (Ill.) College Wind Ensemble (James Hile, conductor) – 15 March 2020
- Vandegrift High School (Austin, TX) Wind Ensemble (Mike Howard, conductor) - 12 March 2020
- University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) Wind Ensemble (Randall O. Coleman, conductor) - 5 March 2020 (86th Annual ABA National Convention)
- University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg) Wind Ensemble (Catherine Rand, conductor) - 5 March 2020
- University of Iowa (Iowa City) Symphony Band (Richard Mark Heidel, conductor) – 29 February 2020
- Lawrence University (Appleton, Wisc.) Wind Ensemble (Andrew Mast, conductor) – 29 February 2020
- University of California Berkeley Wind Ensemble I (Matthew Sadowski, conductor) – 28 February 2020
- James Madison University (Harrisonburg, Va.) Wind Symphony (Stephen Bolstad, conductor) – 22 February 2020
- University of Missouri (Columbia) Wind Ensemble (Brian Silvey, conductor) – 20 February 2020 (CBDNA 2020 Southwestern Division Conference, Norman, Okla.)
- University of Iowa (Iowa City) Symphony Band (Richard Mark Heidel, conductor) – 20 February 2020 (CBDNA 2020 North Central Division Conference, Chicago, Ill.)
- West Virginia University (Morgantown) Wind Symphony (Scott C. Tobias, conductor) – 14 February 2020
- Baylor University (Waco, Tx.) Wind Ensemble (J. Eric Wilson, conductor) - 13 February 2020
- Illinois State University (Normal) Symphonic Winds (Anthony Marinello, III, conductor) – 15 November 2018 *Premiere Performance*
Works for Winds by This Composer
All Wind Works
- Candor (2021)
- Caribana (2021)
- Come Sunday (2018)
- Emma Catherine (Flex instrumentation) (2004/2009)
- The Low-Down Brown Get-Down (2020)
- A Mother of a Revolution! (2019)
- Of Our New Day Begun (2016)
- Sharp Nine (Flex instrumentation) (2020)
- Shenandoah (as arranger) (2019)
- Eaddy Jr., Jack A. "Come Sunday." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 12, Compiled and edited by Andrew Trachsel, 912-924. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2021.
- The Horizon Leans Forward…, compiled and edited by Erik Kar Jun Leung, GIA Publications, 2021, p. 497.
- McCutchen, Matthew. "'Come Sunday' by Omar Thomas Wins the 2019 William D. Revelli Composition Contest." NBA Journal, Winter 2020, 17-18.
- Omar Thomas, personal correspondence, November 2018
- Omar Thomas website Accessed 9 October 2018
- Pease, Andy. "Of Our New Day Begun by Omar Thomas." Wind Band Literature, 17 June 2020. Web. Accessed 17 June 2020