Educated at the world-renowned Indiana University School of Music, trumpeter John Charles Thomas has lived and worked in and around New York City since the mid 1980’s. John has performed in the premieres of works in both Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and appeared in Europe, Asia, Canada, Latin America and the U.S. as soloist and chamber musician. He has played under many of the great conductors, including Riccardo Muti, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Lorin Maazel, Alan Gilbert, Zubin Mehta, David Robertson, Krzysztof Penderecki and Mstislav Rostropovich. Originally from Springfield, Ohio, he is assistant principal trumpet with the Hartford Symphony (CT), principal trumpet with the Waterbury and Ridgefield Symphonies (CT), associate principal trumpet of the Queens Symphony (NYC), and a member of and the Grammy Award winning Chestnut Brass Company. John has performed frequently with the New York Philharmonic, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and various Broadway shows. He
has appeared with L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, American Symphony, Solisti New York, Vienna Symphony, Trier Bach Soloists (Germany), Bermuda Philharmonic, San Jose and San Francisco Symphonies. His solo appearances have included performances of Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 2”, Copland’s “Quiet City”, and concertos by Tomasi, Bennett, Haydn, Hummel, Shostakovitch and others. Adept in popular and jazz music as well, he has appeared with Peter Cetera, Dave Brubeck, James Taylor, Natalie Merchant, Nancy Wilson, The Temptations, and featured as a jazz soloist with Manhattan Transfer.
Dr. Thomas has performed on several classical, contemporary and popular music recordings. He has recorded Mahler with the New York Philharmonic, and many works of Handel, Bach and Buxtehude, including Messiah and The B-Minor Mass on the historical “baroque” trumpet. John’s distinctive trumpet sound can be heard on several film soundtracks including, Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, S.W.A.T., Sphere, Final Fantasy, Highway, and Titus. He was the soloist on the Bill Moyers & Joseph Campbell television series, The Power of Myth, and has been heard on NPR, PRI, The Today Show, and 60 Minutes.
John is currently teaching trumpet at Bard College. He was an Assistant Professor of Music at Ithaca College in 2009, and has also taught at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Marist College, Packer Collegiate Institute (Brooklyn, NY), the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts (Huntington, LI) and the Parsons School (NYC). He has presented master classes at the North Texas State University, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Baylor University, Loyola University (New Orleans), SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Fredonia, Brevard College, South East Oklahoma State, and others. He has given educational programs for the Ridgefield Symphony, Westchester Philharmonic, Queens Symphony, 92nd Street Y, Hudson Valley Philharmonic and the Princeton Symphony Orchestras, and has been a juror at the prestigious Cheju International Brass Competition in South Korea.