The John D. and Susan K. Thomson Family UH Tier One Scholarship Endowment
I’m a very diverse musician, composer, and recording engineer studying Music Composition and piano at UH’s Moores’ School of Music. I play piano, drums, guitar, bass, trumpet, French horn, and I sing. I try to be well-rounded, hopefully being a multi-instrumentalist who involves himself in jazz, rock, pop, musical theater, and film music will eventually make me a valuable asset. One of my greatest accomplishments is being a Tier One scholar, which is huge blessing and has allowed me to study music with no financial pressure. Musically, I am most proud of recording in Sugar Hill studio (known as the best recording studio in Houston), having played numerous live shows at Fitzgerald’s, Warehouse Live, and Jet Lounge (having performed as lead singer, bassist, keyboardist, and drummer in all), having been chosen as the composer for a film score in my first semester, having written an award-winning saxophone quartet my freshman year (which included having it performed and recorded at Baylor by their best saxophone ensemble). Most recently, I am excited about having been chosen as the composer for a full-length 30-song musical to be produced and performed by Morningstar Theatrical LLC sometime in 2012.
Campus and Community Involvement
I am a proud member of the Honors College, which is a significant commitment of time and effort, but extremely rewarding. As a music major, who are already labeled some of the busiest students, the Honors College gives me an intellectual outlet and connections to students who enjoy building upper-level thinking skills and are generally fun, quirky, unique individuals. Aside from this organization, I attend many recitals of other students and also help host recitals of the composition department’s original pieces to be performed.
Awards and Honors
In high school, I was chosen often as the most outstanding band student either in my ensemble or in my section. I was also the1st pianist in my jazz region band, and I graduated in my top 10% of my class. In college, I was given a $1,000/year scholarship from the honors college, a $1,000 grant from the music school in addition to the TierOne Scholarship, and this semester was awarded a $1000 jazz piano scholarship. I have a 3.9 GPA after 4 semesters at UH and received an award for one of the best first-year Honors students from Dr. Iaan Morrisson. My music was awarded the undergraduate winner of the Louisa Sarofim Composers’ Competition as well as 2nd prize in the Foundation for Modern Music’s Robert Avalon Composers’ Competition, in which I also won the “Audience Favorite” award.
I am not sure which countries I’d like to visit/study in yet, but am thankful that the scholarship allows me to consider various flexible options.
I would like to research the music of John Coltrane, particularly in his later “free jazz” period.
As a musician who is seeking to test the waters in all areas of music, I expect to live on my own as a musician for some time before I consider a type of music to specialize in grad school. However, I am highly considering a Masters in USC Thornton’s Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television (SMPTV) program. This one-year program is the most prestigious and helpful school for writing film and TV music and has an enormous tuition cost. However, thanks to the Tier One scholarship, grad school would be the only money I will have to pay for my education.