Educated at the world-renowned music school Indiana University, trumpeter John Charles Thomas has lived and worked in & around New York City since 1984. Prior to that, John lived in Vienna Austria and was a member of the New York Harlem Opera Company, touring company, playing "Porgy and Bess" throughout France, Italy and Spain.
Since moving to New York, John has performed in the premieres of works in both Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and appeared in Europe, Asia, Canada and the U.S. as soloist and chamber musician. John has played under many of the great conductors, including Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Mutti, Krzysztof Penderecki, and Mstislav Rostropovich. Originally from Springfield, Ohio, John received his Bachelor's and Master's from Indiana University, did graduate work in Vienna Austria, and received his Doctorate from SUNY Stony Brook.
He is currently a member of the Grammy Award winning Chestnut Brass Company, principal trumpet with the Ridgefield and Waterbury Symphony Orchestras (CT), the Queens Symphony (NYC) and the Modern Brass Quintet (NYC). John has performed frequently and recorded with the New York Philharmonic, and has appeared with L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, American Symphony, Solisti New York, Trier Bach Soloists (Germany), Vienna Symphony, Bermuda Philharmonic, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, San Jose and San Francisco Symphonies. As a chamber musician he has performed with the the Innovata Brass (Boston), Hudson Valley Brass Ensemble, Pone Ensemble for Contemporary Music, Microtonal Music Festival, and the S.E.M. Ensemble. He has also performed with Dave Brubeck, James Taylor, Natalie Merchant, Nancy Wilson, and The Temptations.
John has performed on several classical, contemporary and popular music recordings. He has recorded 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, most recently, Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, S.W.A.T., Sphere, Highway, and Titus (Julie Taymor's adaptation of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus). He was also a multi instrumentalist on the Bill Moyers/Joseph Campbell's series for public television, The Power of Myth, where he played all seven trumpet tracks, piccolo trumpet and flgelhorn solos, and many historical instruments including cornetto, lyzarden, shofar, conch shell, didjeridu and percussion. He was the trumpet soloist on the Bill Moyers/Joseph Campbell's PBS television series, "The Power of Myth", and has been frequently heard on National Public Radio, The Today Show, and 60 Minutes.
Dr. Thomas teaches trumpet and horn 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), and the Parsons School (NYC). He has presented master classes at the North Texas State University, University of Wisconsin at Madison, Baylor University, SUNY Stony Brook, SUNY Fredonia, Brevard College, South East Oklahoma State, and others.
John has given educational programs for the Ridgefield Symphony, The 92nd Street Y, Queens Symphony, Westchester Philharmonic, Hudson Valley Philharmonic, and the Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and is a Juror for the Jeju International Brass Festival, held in Cheju South Korea.
John plays Vincent Bach trumpets, cornet and flügelhorn, and Conn horns.