"The opening utterances...rose from nowhere with such an invigorating richness that it set an exciting tone for the rest of the concert. KC VITAs continued this unified sound throughout the entire concert, achieving a resonating sound regardless of dynamics or setting. The choir was well balanced throughout, and each section was easily heard in the overall mixture."
"For me, the most innovative thing about the program was that the choral pieces were sectioned off with art song. After every two or three choral performances, a single voice was featured on an art song. It functioned like little curtains opening between acts and served as a wonderful palate cleanser between courses.
I haven’t ever seen anyone use contemporary art song in this way, and I can tell you that I want to see it again. It’s very difficult for composers to get their art song into the view of the public, and this seems a perfect solution."
Originally from Carrollton, MO, Jackson Thomas is a conductor, tenor, clinician, and teacher based in the Kansas City area. He currently serves as an Instructor at the University of Central-Missouri where he teaches Voice, Aural Training, Opera Workshop, and Women’s Choir. Jackson also serves as Director of Choral Music at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Lenexa, KS where he directs the Chancel Choir, Bell Choir, and Orchestra, presenting music weekly, as well as large works for choir and orchestra at special services. He has held teaching positions with Kansas City Kansas Public Schools, the Park Hill School District, and Kansas City, MO Public Schools. Jackson is an active soloist of classical and musical theatre repertoire, and sings with several ensembles around the metropolitan area. He also maintains a private voice and piano studio.
Jackson holds degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Kansas in Vocal Performance and Choral Conducting, respectively. While attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Jackson sang lead roles on the operatic and and musical theatre stages, and studied conducting with Dr. Therees Hibbard and Dr. Peter Eklund. At the University of Kansas, he served as the Associate Conductor of the KU Women's Chorale, Concert Choir, Musicum Collegium, and Chamber Singers, and was the director of the KU Men's Glee Club. Studying conducting under Dr. Paul Tucker, Jackson competed as a semi-finalist in the SWACDA Graduate Conducting Competition.