Omar Thomas (b. 1984, Brooklyn, N.Y.) is an American composer, arranger and educator.
Born to Guyanese parents, Omar moved to Boston in 2006 to pursue a Master of Music degree in jazz composition at the New England Conservatory of Music. He is the protégé of Ken Schaphorst and Frank Carlberg, and has studied under Maria Schneider.
Omar's music has been performed in concert halls across the country. He has been commissioned to create works in both jazz and classical styles. His work has been performed by such diverse groups as the Eastman New Jazz Ensemble, the San Francisco and Boston Gay Men's Choruses, and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
He conducts the Omar Thomas Large Ensemble, a group was first assembled for Omar's graduate composition recital at the New England Conservatory of Music in the spring of 2008. He was awarded the ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award in 2008 and was invited by the ASCAP Association to perform his music in their highly exclusive JaZzCap Showcase, held in New York City.
Mr. Thomas accepted a position in the composition area at the University of Texas in Austin in the fall of 2020. Previously he was a member of both the Harmony and Music Education departments at Berklee, where he taught all four levels of harmony offered, in addition to taking charge of the "Introduction to Music Education" course. Omar was an active member of the Berklee community, serving on the Diversity and Inclusion Council, the Comprehensive Enrollment Strategy Workgroup, and acting as co-chair of the LGBT Allies. Omar was nominated for the Distinguished Faculty Award after only three years at the college, and was thrice awarded the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from Harvard University, where he served as a teaching fellow.
Works for Winds
All Wind Works
- 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. 496.
- Omar Thomas website Accessed 9 February 2016
- Schallert, Gary. "Of Our New Day Begun." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 12, Compiled and edited by Andrew Trachsel, 812-825. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2021.
- Vondran, Shawn D. "A Mother of a Revolution." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 12, Compiled and edited by Andrew Trachsel, 570-579. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2021.