Educator, arranger, and award-winning composer Omar Thomas, currently an associate professor of Harmony at Berklee College of Music, will serve as visiting faculty in Music Theory at the Peabody Conservatory in 2018-19.
Hailed by Herbie Hancock as showing “great promise as a new voice in the further development of jazz in the future,” Thomas has created music extensively in the contemporary jazz ensemble idiom. His music has been performed in concert halls and on stages across the country and internationally, and the 18-piece Omar Thomas Large Ensemble, formed in 2008, has released two acclaimed albums. He was named the Boston Music Awards’ “Jazz Artist of the Year” in 2012, and in 2017, Thomas was selected from an international pool of applicants to be an artist-in-residence at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. He has thrice been awarded the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from Harvard University, where he served as a teaching fellow for four years. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Jazz Composers and Arrangers (ISJAC).
Thomas received his Bachelor of Music in music education from James Madison University and his Master of Music in jazz composition at the New England Conservatory of Music in 2008. He is the protégé of lauded composers and educators Ken Schaphorst and Frank Carlberg, and has studied under multiple Grammy-winning composer and bandleader Maria Schneider.