#46 – June 08, 2020
“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!”
Come Sunday by Omar Thomas is our Composition of the Week.
Thomas’s 11-minute, grade 6 work, received its premiere on November 15, 2018 by the Illinois State University Wind Symphony with Anthony Marinello conducting, who led a consortium that commissioned the piece.
Come Sunday is written for wind ensemble including Soprano Sax, Piano and Drum Set.
Thomas’s work 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 moments 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” program notes by the composer.
Come Sunday has been named the recipient of the 2019 William Revelli Award, making Omar Thomas the first African American composer to receive this honor.
Omar Thomas was born in New York in 1984. He earned a Master of Music in Jazz Composition at the New England Conservatory of Music. He was appointed, while still a student, Assistant Professor of Harmony at the Berklee College of Music at the age of 23.
He has recently been appointed at the Peabody Institute of the John Hopkins University in Baltimore as faculty in the Music Theory Department.
He has been commissioned to create works for both jazz and classical ensembles.
Omar Thomas is a member of the Blue Dot Collective, a group of seven “adventurous” composers whose common goal is to “uplift and inspire performers and audiences alike with fresh and exciting” wind band works.
More information on Omar Thomas