Thomas LaVoy (b. 1990) is an award-winning composer of contemporary concert music. In November, 2017 he received his PhD from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, where he studied with the world-renowned Welsh composer Paul Mealor. In 2013 Thomas graduated summa cum laude from Westminster Choir College in Princeton New Jersey, where he studied with Joel Phillips and James Goldsworthy. His choral works have been commissioned and performed by choirs across the globe in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Poland, New Zealand and Taiwan.
Following the Carnegie Hall debut of his music in 2016, Thomas received a commission from the John Armitage Memorial (JAM) in London to produce a substantial work for the BBC Singers. The resulting work, O Great Beyond, was premiered at the annual JAM on the Marsh festival by Nicholas Cleobury and the BBC Singers, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3's In Concert.
Thomas was born into a musical family and was raised in the city of Marquette in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. He began taking piano lessons at age four and completed his first composition at age six. His musical pursuits continued at Marquette Senior High School where he studied composition with Jim Hansen and produced his first choral works. At age seventeen, he became the youngest ever winner of the New York Virtuoso Singers International Composition Competition for his choral work White Stones, which was subsequently published on G. Schirmer's Harold Rosenbaum Choral Series.
While at Westminster Choir College, Thomas forged a deep musical bond with conductor James Jordan and his GRAMMY nominated choir Westminster Williamson Voices. This choir has premiered more of his works than any other ensemble, including his Alleluia, The Lake Isle of Innisfree, Songs of the Questioner, and As I Walk the Silent Earth. Thomas is also a founding member of James Jordan's professional choir, The Same Stream, which has sung and recorded many of his works. The majority of Thomas' music is published on GIA Publications Evoking Sound Choral Series, of which Jordan is the executive editor.
After graduating from Westminster Choir College with highest honors, Thomas received a commission from the Marquette Symphony Orchestra to compose a major work to mark the centennial of the Italian Hall disaster of Christmas Eve, 1913. A Child's Requiem, with a libretto written by the poet Esther Margaret Ayers, was premiered by the orchestra in December, 2013 and was met with critical acclaim for its unflinching and emotional take on one of Michigan's worst tragedies.
Upon arrival in Aberdeen, Scotland to begin his PhD, Thomas was appointed as manager of the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir. He held this post for two years, managing tours to the North Wales International Music Festival, New York, London, and a performance for Her Majesty the Queen at Balmoral Castle. The choir has premiered several of Thomas' works, including Phaenix alumna mortis and Amid Such Snows. His newest work for the choir is The Immortal Memory, the title track of the choir’s new CD; Immortal Memory: A Burns Night Celebration. Upon its release in January 2017, the CD shot to third place on the official UK classical charts, and The Immortal Memory was broadcast several times on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM.
Thomas also served as a choral scholar in the Chapel Choir of King's College, Aberdeen, which released their first album on the Vox Regis label in 2016. The final track on this CD is Ave, maris stella, a choral work that Thomas composed for the choir's tour to Hungary in 2014.
In addition to maintaining his presence in the world of art music, Thomas is also an active singer-songwriter and has performed in the United States, Scotland, Wales, and Belgium. He was a featured vocalist on the 2013 album Big North by Illinois-based guitarist and songwriter John Berry.