Thomas Joiner

Thomas Joiner: Winnipeg New Music Festival

Thomas Joiner hated music as a kid. He refused to listen regardless of genre, artist, or song and during a short period of time studying piano he refused to practise. This attitude persisted until he was 13 when he began studying composition with local Calgary composer Scott Ross-Molyneux. His new teacher had an infectious love of music that inspired Joiner and taught him to appreciate the beautiful intricacies of the vast musical repertoire we are fortunate to have access to today.

His primary instruments are trumpet and piano, which he began around the same time he began composition lessons. In addition, he has also studied voice, violin, and drums.

His first experience having a work of his performed was in 2018 when a classmate of his played his work Piano Sonata No. 0. Since then, he has composed music for his school’s plays, a piece produced in collaboration with a painter, a flute quartet for students at his school, and Dec 23, 2020 for Calgary’s Timepoint Ensemble.

A key experience for Joiner’s view of music was spending time playing for his grandpa in a seniors’ home. The residents were sickly and dejected, but his music inspired and entertained. This experience taught him that music has the power to create happiness and hope, even in the darkest times. His newest piece Dawn, composed for the Canadian Music Centre Prairie Region’s Emerging Composers Competition, is about finding hope and happiness in the darkness of the pandemic.

Thomas Joiner is currently 18 years old, is in Grade Twelve, and attends Central Memorial High School in Calgary.