Faculty conversations: Reginald Thomas
Spring semester will be a busy one for Reginald Thomas.
Thomas is a professor of jazz with the College of Music. He teaches applied music lessons, focusing primarily on piano, but he also works with jazz singers. Additionally, he helps facilitate the combo program in which 11 small groups of students from the jazz studies program perform every Monday night.
Outside of classroom, Thomas is very involved with music groups and competitions all over the country, and in some cases, all over the world. He recently performed with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra and will soon be going to Memphis where he will be conducting the Memphis All West High School Band. From there, he leaves for Chicago to the New Trier Jazz festival where he will be judging bands, as well as leading the MSU Jazz Orchestra I in a performance. Thomas and professor Rodney Whitaker also will be participating in a jazz festival in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Thomas and the other professors of jazz are working on an upcoming CD featuring all original music which should be available in March.
"I love working here because I love the engagement of all of our jazz faculty and the students," Thomas said. "We have a real familial atmosphere."
Thomas said that it was the unique, supportive environment and the caliber of the jazz faculty that initially attracted him to MSU.