The Music of Langston Hughes

Dr. André J. Thomas

André J. Thomas

Known for his spiritual arrangements, Dr. André J. Thomas is a widely recognized choral conductor and composer. His music features rich and appealing tones as he regularly uses intricate vocal harmonies and vocal lines. Gospel music and African American spirituals have had an enormous influence on many of his pieces. Thomas’ songs frequently communicates themes of hope, faith, and tenacity; for this reason, his musical work so effectively accentuates the poetic words of Langston Hughes.

André J. Thomas Choral Music

Hold Fast To Dreams – SATB

Respected choral conductor and composer André J. Thomas has brought one of Langston Hughes most celebrated poems to life in Hold Fast To Dreams. This piece is for mixed voices with piano, is very approachable and would make a nice concert or Commencement selection. Also consider the work when celebrating American music month.

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly…”

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About André J. Thomas

Andre J. Thomas

André J. Thomas

Dr. Thomas is well known for his skills as a conductor, an educator, and for bringing out the best in vocal groups. He has made a significant and lasting impact on the choral music community.

Dr. André J. Thomas, Owen F. Sellers, Professor of Music, is Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Choral Music Education at Florida State University. He previously served on the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Thomas received the baccalaureate degree in Music Education from Friends University, a Masters Degree in Piano Performance from Northwestern University, and the Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the University of Illinois.

He is frequently in demand as a choral adjudicator, clinician and director of Honor Choirs and All‑State Choirs throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, New Zealand, and Australia. He has conducted choirs at the state, division and national conventions of Music Educators National Conference (MENC) and American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). He has served as a conductor and clinician for the International Federation of Choral Musicians. In 1998, Dr. Thomas conducted the World Youth Choir in the Republic of China and the Philippines, and returned in 1999–2000 to conduct the winter residency of the World Youth Choir in Europe. In 1999, he and the Florida State University Singers performed in Ha Noi and Ho Chi Minh City, at the invitation of the Vietnamese government.

Besides his extensive conducting credits, he has distinguished himself as a composer/arranger. His compositions and arrangements are published by Heritage Music Press, Hinshaw Music Company, Mark Foster Music Company, Fitzsimmon Music Company, Lawson–Gould, earthsongs, Laurel Press, and Choristers Guild.

Dr. Thomas conducts several choral ensembles at the Florida State campus and teaches choral conducting. In November 1995, the Florida chapter of the ACDA presented Dr. Thomas with the prestigious Wayne Hugobloom Distinguished Service Award for his Dedicated Service, Leadership and Consistent Example of Excellence to his Profession—The Choral Art. On January 13, 1996, Florida State University honored Dr. Thomas with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding scholarly excellence and strong commitment to Dr. King’s ideals. In addition to the Martin Luther King award, Florida State University has awarded Dr. Thomas the University Award for Excellence in Teaching. From 1993 to 1995, he served as President of the Florida American Choral Directors Association. He is currently President of the Southern Division of ACDA.

Dr. Thomas’ Hold Fast To Dreams (SATB Voicing) is published and made available by Hinshaw Music.

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