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André J. Thomas

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André J. Thomas
Visiting Professor of Choral Conducting Yale School of Music
Interim Conductor, Yale Camerata Institute of Sacred Music
At YSM Since: 2020
Award(s): African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians Program (Living Legend), Chorus America (Distinguished Service Award), American Choral Directors Association (Robert Shaw Award), National Collegiate Choral Organization (Lifetime Achievement Award), Florida Music Education Association (Hall of Fame).
My teaching is designed to challenge the students to achieve their maximum potential. This is accomplished by creating a positive learning environment that is structured toward success. Because people have different learning styles and varied experiences, I make it a priority to accommodate individuality. The hope is for students to gain an appreciation and a love of the subject matter as they become more knowledgeable and skilled.

André J. Thomas

My teaching is designed to challenge the students to achieve their maximum potential. This is accomplished by creating a positive learning environment that is structured toward success. Because people have different learning styles and varied experiences, I make it a priority to accommodate individuality. The hope is for students to gain an appreciation and a love of the subject matter as they become more knowledgeable and skilled.

André J. Thomas has distinguished himself as a conductor and composer in the United States and around the world. He has appeared with such exceptional ensembles as the London Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Choir, Berlin Radio Choir, North German Radio Choir, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Phoenix Chorale, Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Chinese People’s Liberation Orchestra, and Czech National Symphony Orchestra. He served as artistic director of the Tallahassee Community Chorus from 1988 to 2019. Thomas currently serves the American Choral Directors Association as national vice president and on July 1, 2021, he will become the first Afro-American to become president of that organization. 

At Yale, Thomas is visiting professor of choral conducting and interim conductor of the Yale Camerata. He was previously the Owen F. Sellers Professor of Music, director of choral activities, and professor of choral music education at Florida State University. Thomas has also taught at the University of Texas at Austin, conducted choirs at conventions of the National Association for Music Education and American Choral Directors Association, and appeared as a conductor and clinician with the International Federation of Choral Musicians’ World Youth Choir in China and the Philippines.

Thomas’ original music and arrangements have been published by Hinshaw Music, Mark Foster Music, H.T. Fitzsimons Company, Lawson-Gould Choral Music, Earthsongs, Choristers Guild, Boosey and Hawkes, and Heritage Music Press. He has also produced two choral conducting videos—What They See is What You Get and Body, Mind, Spirit, Voice—and a book, Way Over in Beulah Lan': Understanding and Performing the Negro Spiritual (Heritage Music Press, 2007), which is considered an important resource in the subject area. 

Thomas earned a bachelor of arts degree from Friends University, a master of music degree from Northwestern University, and a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Illinois.