Jennifer Thomas, an independent American composer, pianist, violinist, concert performer, and recording artist was born on 23 June 1977 in Seattle, Washington. Her genre of music includes Classical, Crossover, and New Age. The short description on her Facebook page states that she is also the mother of 3, the wife of an ultra-marathoner, and loves chocolate.
She is known for writing and performing piano-centered orchestral music from classical music to classical music crossover and cinematic orchestral. While most of her works are original, she also covers classical pieces as well as pop music and movie soundtracks.
Jennifer was trained by her mother (Carolyn Southworth) and started playing the piano and violin at the age of 5. She later went on to study music at Brigham Young University – Idaho where she earned a music degree in Performing Arts/Piano Pedagogy. She also won the silver medal in the university’s concerto competition, performing Prokofiev’s 3rd Piano Concerto and was invited to perform as a concerto soloist with Salt Lake City’s Murray Symphony on the MacDowell Piano Concerto No 2.
Her music prowess has afforded her many opportunities including working with the Seattle Symphony, participating with the Seattle Composer’s Salon at Benaroya Hall, being a regular featured soloist at Seattle‘s historic Roosevelt Hotel, working with the Seattle Symphony, and performing as a violinist for the Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra. For 3 years, she performed as a featured soloist for the Temple Square Concert Series on historic Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah, and she has also performed with various symphonies including the Oregon Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra.
Jennifer began composing music in 2004, and in January 2007, she released her debut album Key of Sea (an album consisting of her own compositions and arrangements), earning her favorable recognition among listeners in the instrumental/piano genre. The album is enjoyed by listeners of new-age/contemporary radio stations across the globe and has garnered the attention and interest of filmmakers worldwide. The album was also listed among Kathy Parson’s Top 20 of 2007 pick, as well as, her “Top 40 of the Decade,” and won an Audience Choice Award in the 2008 Swan Lake Moving Image and Music Awards in Germany for its use in a short film. Music critic, Michael Debbage, described the album as, “Sensually sumptuous…Simply put, Key of Sea is one of those cross-pollinating albums that is not only experimental and intriguing but also exquisite and invigorating.”
She collaborated with her mother on the writing of her second album which was appropriately titled The Lullaby Album (a dual CD album) which was inspired by the birth of her first child who was born in June 2008. The project proved to be a memorable experience for the two of them as many of the tracks were songs that Jennifer’s mother had sung to her as a child. The album was included in both Kathy Parsons and Michael Debbages’ “Top 20 of 2009” lists.
Up until the birth of her second child who was born in August 2010, she kept a small studio of 15 piano students, and 2 violin students. In late 2010, she composed her first original film score for the film “Minuet” by director/writer Ryan K. McNeal. The film won the Gold Medal of Excellence at the 2011 Park City Film Music Festival for “Best Original Music in a Short Film”. Jennifer also received a nomination for “Best Song” in the Classical/Orchestral genre at the 2011 Hollywood Music in Media Awards for her rendition of Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue (D Minor)”.
Towards the end of 2012, after four years of hard work, practice, study, and growth in her musical style and technique, Jennifer released her third album Illumination which was nominated and won numerous awards including nominations for Album of the Year for Reviews New Age, and Classical Crossover UK. It also won “Album of the Year”, and “Artist of the Year” at the 2013 IMC Awards, and was also a Piano Heaven UK Award winner. Classical-Crossover described the album as, “a mixture of classical crossover material and original work – her complex, yet accessible arrangements offer the listener a truly different experience of both pop and genuine classical.” In October 2015, Illumination won the “Classical Song of the Year” International Music and Entertainment Association Award and the Enlightened Piano Radio Award for “Best piano album with instrumentation” at Carnegie Hall New York where Jennifer performed live at the awards ceremony.
Jennifer’s fourth album Winter Symphony was released on Friday, 20 November 2015. The Christmas album features the Ensign Chorus (recorded at Bastyr Cathedral), soprano Felicia Farerre, violinist Taylor Davis, and musicians from The Utah Symphony, Salt Lake City Pops Orchestra, and the Chochin Chamber Orchestra. The album includes such holiday favorites as “Silent Night”, “Angels We Have Heard on High”, “Carol of the Bells”, as well as cinematic scores from “Home Alone”, “Edward Scissorhands”, and more. Since its release, the album has been charting in the Top 10 Amazon Hot New Releases, and also maintaining in the Top 20 on iTunes.
Jennifer is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and currently lives in the Seattle, Washington area with her husband, Will, and their three sons. She recently started a video blog on her YouTube channel where you can follow more of her journey as an artist juggling both motherhood and music, and she maintains a personal blog as well. Samples of some of her recorded tracks can be found on her soundcloud.com page.
On Monday, 30 November 2015, Jennifer released a music video for her original song “Alleluia” which features the Ensign Chorus and Felicia Farerre with Tel Stewart (formerly of The Piano Guys) as the cinematographer. And on Wednesday, 16 December, she released a music video of her arrangement of the Christmas classic “Carol of the Bells.” There are also several concert dates coming up with full symphony and choir.
NEWS and Updates
On Monday, 21 March 2016, Jennifer Thomas announced on her Jennifer Thomas Fan Group Facebook page that her newest album “Winter Symphony” has been nominated for several Indie Music Channel (IMC) Awards – including Best Female Classical Artist, Best Classical Song, Best Live Classical Performance, Best Classical Music Video, and Album of the Year. In 2013, she won Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, and several other IMC Awards.
Jennifer announced on her Jennifer Thomas Fan Group Facebook page on Tuesday, 26 April 2016, that she has just returned home from Los Angeles, California, where she brought home 3 awards from the Indie Music Channel Awards. She won: Best Live Classical Performance (Jennifer Thomas LIVE with the Ensign Symphony and Chorus at Benaroya Hall); Best Classical Music Video (over $5,000) for “Alleluia”; and Music Video of the Year for “Alleluia.” She also announced that her album “Winter Symphony” was nominated for a Hollywood Music in Media Award (HMMA) in Contemporary Classical/Instrumental.
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