vanessa joy thomas.about me
I have always been involved in music, even before the time I begged my parents for piano lessons, to which my dad replied, “ok, learn the recorder first and, if in a year you still want to learn piano, you can!” That may seem mean, but I am so thankful to my dad that he said that. It kept me interested in music and made me realise from a very young age that learning music involves patience and dedication! What's more, it was playing the recorder that got me on the 'sprit of '71 stage at Glastonbury in 2011, but that's a story for another day!
My solo singing debut was at 5 singing little donkey, my only terms were, “I'll only sing if you let me wear my bridesmaid dress!” I guess I have always known my mind.
I did a degree in music which included composition, orchestration, performance and theatre. I shall be forever thankful for my jazz teacher Chris Ingham, an incredibly talented musician. When I thought I couldn't, he made me believe I could! Everyone needs a teacher like that, his outstanding teaching and musical ability was an inspiration.
My career has seen me in the roles of musical director, and conductor for numerous choirs, which have performed at major venues & festivals such as The Royal Festival Hall, Brighton Dome, The Roundhouse and Concorde 2, as well as well as being featured on TV and radio. I currently lead the wonderful 250 strong pop, soul and gospel choir Soul of the City Choir, which I founded 10 years ago in Brighton. This un-auditioned choir continually reminds me that we all have a voice!
I take great pleasure in mentoring musicians, finding out what makes them tick and working with them to get their voices and playing soaring, watching people grow and feel empowered is wonderful. Helping corporate organisations bond and inspire their teams through workplace choirs, singing socials and team building events is another way to do this, seeing people flourish and connect is one of my favourite things.
Collaborating with musicians and artists, adding musical direction to their work and creating new worlds through soundscapes is my latest passion. I love taking sounds, creating textures and leading listeners and participants on a journey – music is incredible and sharing it is a privilege.