Thomas McKinley Thomas
McKinley Thomas is an established composer who has composed over 300 works spanning all genres. With an eye toward pushing musical boundaries while maintaining its core fundamentals, Thomas remains at the cutting edge of modern composition.
Costa encouraged McKinley to pursue composition as opposed to dance band performances, and after impressing resident professor Nikolai Lopatnikoff with an impressive 15-minute improvisation, McKinley was accepted at Carnegie Tech.
Early Life and Education
McKinley began accompanying dance bands at a New Kensington supper club while still in his teens, eventually earning enough to cover piano lessons by age 13. Due to his exceptional skill in this regard, local musicians quickly started calling him “White Art Tatum.”
While still at Yale, he met clarinetist Richard Stolzman who would become one of his key patrons and collaborated on multiple works together including Concerto No. 2 for Bb Clarinet and Orchestra recorded by Seattle Symphony under Gerard Schwarz and released as an RCA Victor Red Seal release.
Mrs. McKinley-Thomas has over two decades of experience counseling children and families, appearing on many public and television programs to discuss child sexual exploitation, family issues, homelessness and foster care. Additionally, she seeks training that may assist others cope with life’s difficulties.
McKinley was an extremely prolific and critically acclaimed American composer and pianist, creating hundreds of works for orchestra, chamber ensembles and jazz groups. His compositions drew on influences such as Bach, Debussy and Stravinsky while still including elements of jazz and blues styles he heard as a child. McKinley received numerous honors including an Academy Citation, Guggenheim Fellowship commissions from Koussevitsky Foundations as well as National Endowment for the Arts grants.
McKinley left Chicago for New England Conservatory where Gunther Schuller from Tanglewood was teaching. McKinley had become dissatisfied with Chicago’s lack of support for his eclectic compositional style that relied more heavily on emotions and intuition rather than technical structures.
Achievement and Honors
McKinley has earned acclaim for writing music with a broad appeal that bridges classical and jazz genres. A prolific composer, McKinley has composed numerous pieces for piano, orchestra, chorus and chamber ensembles as well as articles and books about music.
Once McKinley graduated from Yale, he secured a tenure-track position at the University of Chicago. Though they provided ample resources – such as Easley Blackwood and Ralph Shapey’s performance group – their academic philosophy towards composition did not accommodate his broader approach based on emotion and intuition.
Together with his musical friends, he founded the Master Musicians Collective as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization to champion American composers’ work while also supporting music education initiatives.
McKinley was an ardent Christian who deeply cared for his family. He often gave of himself by volunteering at organizations like Rainbow House. Additionally, he often appeared on public affairs shows such as Peach (CBS 46) to discuss strategies against child sexual exploitation as well as Clayton County News Daily to address teenage homelessness.
McKinley found himself alienated by the academic philosophy that prevailed at his institution, as his use of jazz and improvisational textures was met with suspicion from colleagues. Therefore, he left in search of new opportunities at Boston’s esteemed New England Conservatory; once there, his mature compositional period with its flirtations with neo-tonality emerged stylistically.
Thomas McKinley currently boasts an estimated net worth of approximately $3 Million and serves as General Partner of Cardinal Partners, a venture capital firm investing in healthcare IT companies such as lifeIMAGE and Sapphire Digital which enable physicians to view patient medical records.
He has over 35 years of investment experience. Prior to that he served as co-founder and managing partner at Partech International as well as on the boards of multiple healthcare technology companies such as Automated Healthcare, Medicode and VISICU.
Thomas McKinley has made two insider trades in the last five years that totalled around $3 Million, most recently selling 4,830 shares of Teladoc Health Inc stock on June 4, 2020. According to SEC Form 4 filings,