Guest composer Omar Thomas featured on upcoming CCM Winds concerts

The award-winning composer joins the CCM Wind Ensemble and CCM Wind Symphony in concert March 6 & 9

Story by CCM Graduate Assistant Lucy Evans

UC College-Conservatory of Music students are working directly with an award-winning composer on two upcoming performances. Omar Thomas, a celebrated composer and arranger, visits campus to collaborate with the CCM Wind Ensemble and CCM Wind Symphony on concerts scheduled for March 6 and March 9 in Corbett Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now through the CCM Box Office

On March 6 at 7:30 p.m., the Wind Ensemble presents “Let’s Dance,”  featuring Emma Catherine and Caribana by Omar Thomas. The performance also includes the CCM Tuba Quartet and Princeton High School Symphonic Band. Inspired by Caribbean carnival, Caribana incorporates the Calypso and Soca music of Trinidad and Tobago. The piece serves as the finale for the Wind Ensemble’s “Let’s Dance” concert, featuring dance music and rhythms from cultures across the globe. The program also includes works by Bernstein, Galbraith, Reed and Bennett.

On March 8 at 7:30 p.m., the Wind Symphony presents “Of Our New Day Begun,”  which takes its name directly from a piece by Thomas. The eponymous work honors the nine people who were murdered in a mass shooting at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015. The concert also includes the CCM Youth Wind Ensemble performing Thomas' Come Sunday and the CCM Wind Symphony performing Thomas' The Low-Down Brown Get Down. Additionally, the performance features Heritage by CCM alum Shawn Okpebholo (DMA Composition ‘07) and Meditation by Dwayne S. Milburn.

Described as “elegant, beautiful, sophisticated, intense, and crystal clear in emotional intent,” the music of Omar Thomas is swiftly gaining recognition by listeners across classical and jazz idioms. Recently named a Yamaha Master Educator, his music has been performed by ensembles worldwide, and he is frequently commissioned to write for both classical and jazz groups.

This is not the first time that CCM Winds has featured Omar Thomas in its performances. For his first concert as Director of Wind Studies at CCM, Kevin Michael Holzman programed Thomas' Of Our New Day Begun in September 2018. In November of 2019, the Wind Symphony commemorated the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising with a concert featuring works by LGBTQ+ composers including Thomas’ stirring work,  A Mother of a Revolution, which celebrates the bravery of Marsha P. Johnson and other pioneering trans-activists. The Wind Symphony's performance is available to watch online. Most recently in March 2022, the CCM Wind Symphony performed Thomas' Come Sunday.

The concerts continue CCM’s long-standing tradition of providing students with professional experiences, connecting them with working artists through performance opportunities, workshops and master classes. Get your tickets now through the CCM Box Office!

Omar Thomas.

Omar Thomas. Photo provided.

Hailed by Herbie Hancock as showing “great promise as a new voice in the further development of jazz in the future,” educator, arranger, and award-winning composer Omar Thomas (b. 1984) has created music extensively in the contemporary jazz ensemble idiom. Omar previously served as an Associate Professor of Harmony at Berklee College of Music and a Visiting Professor in Music Theory at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University. He has thrice been awarded the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching from Harvard University, where he served as a Teaching Fellow for four years. He was awarded the Boston Music Award’s “Jazz Artist of the Year” in 2012. In 2017, he was selected to participate in the Cité Internationale des Arts residency in Paris, and in 2019 was the chosen recipient of the prestigious National Bandmasters Association/Revelli Award, honoring excellence in wind band composition.

Omar’s music has been performed in concert halls and on stages across the country and internationally. His work is featured on Dianne Reeves’s Grammy Award-winning album, “Beautiful Life.” His big band, the 18-piece Omar Thomas Large Ensemble was formed in 2008. The group’s first album, “I Am,” debuted at #1 on the iTunes Jazz Charts and peaked at #13 on the Billboard Traditional Jazz Albums Chart. Their second release, “We Will Know: An LGBT Civil Rights Piece In Four Movements,” has been hailed by Grammy Award-winning drummer, composer, and producer Terri Lyne Carrington as being a “thought provoking, multi-layered masterpiece” which has “put him in the esteemed category of great artists.” Says Terri Lyne: “Omar Thomas will prove to be one of the more important composer/arrangers of his time.”

Performance Times

  • 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 6: CCM Wind Ensemble - "Let's Dance!" 
  • 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 8: CCM Wind Symphony + CYWE - "Of Our New Day Begun"


Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village 
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets

Purchase your tickets:

CCM’s Box Office hours are Tuesday through Friday from 1-5 p.m. and one hour prior to curtain for ticketed performances. Hours subject to change based on the University of Cincinnati calendar. Our Box Office staff is always ready to answer your questions by phone at 513-556-4183 or email at

UC Student Ticket Options

Current UC students can purchase up to two tickets for each CCM OnStage concert and show at the discounted rate of just $10 per ticket; the discounted rate for current CCM students is $5 per ticket. Learn more.

Student discounts do not apply to CCM development fundraising events.

Directions and Parking

CCM is located on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. For detailed driving directions, visit

Parking is available in UC's CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Effective July 1, 2023, all University of Cincinnati Parking Services locations will become cashless. Pay for parking securely with your credit/debit card. All major credit cards accepted.

CCM OnStage patrons can add pre-paid parking to their checkout carts when purchasing tickets. Pre-paid parking is date/performance specific. CCM Garage parking rates for a performance or special event is usually available for $10-15. Learn more about parking at UC's CCM Garage.

For additional information on parking at UC, please visit

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All event dates and programs are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, please visit

Headshot of Lucy Evans

Lucy Evans

CCM Graduate Assistant, Marketing + Communications

Lucy Evans is an artist diploma student studying Opera-Vocal Performance at CCM. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, and was recently an Apprentice Artist with the Santa Fe Opera.

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