Thomas Newman did not always dream of becoming a composer. Throughout his college career he majored in chemical engineering, music education, pre-med and accounting.
Although he was attending these classes, the majority of his time was spent either performing with the Collegiate Singers or taking voice lessons.
“I realized I wasn’t studying accounting, because my heart was really in music,” said Newman.
Newman of Hawkinsville, GA, is a 2003 graduate of Troy University with a degree in music education. He has been the bookwriter, lyricist and/or composer for theatrical works such as “Tinyard Hill,” “Antigone” and “Conecuh People.” Newman’s recent works include the musicals “29” and “Band Geeks!”
Newman said that he would have never figured out where his passion lay without the opportunities to pursue every option.
“I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to figure out what I wanted to do had I gone anywhere other than TROY,” said Newman.
After changing his major to music education with a focus in voice, Newman began to contribute to the theatre. The first music he prepared for stage was a score for the world premiere of “Conecuh People.” He credits Adena Moree, director of theatre and dance, with giving him a chance to do something he loved.
“I wasn’t even a theatre major, but Ms. Moree could tell I was passionate about this,” said Newman.
In May of 2006, Newman graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Master of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre Writing. Newman was given the opportunity to study under renowned artists such as Bill Finn, Rachel Shenkin, Michael John LaChiusa, and Polly Pen, among others. Newman said he was very lucky to be able to study with these people because they were at the top of the field of musical theatre.
Newman said that it was because of his experiences at TROY and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts that he was able to discover where his passion lies.
“I was able to combine both of my loves, music and theatre,” said Newman.
Sellers, a senior broadcast journalism and public relations major from Ashford, is the foundation scholar for the office of university relations.