Tuning into an Alumna's Passion for Music

Meredith Tompkins

"My greatest passion is to inspire, train, and encourage new generations of musicians; more than anything else, this has driven me to become a better performer and teacher," DBU Alumna Meredith Tompkins shared. Born and raised in Midland, Texas, Meredith grew up in a musical family and eventually gravitated to studying music herself.

At DBU, she decided to major in Music Theory/Composition and learned how to blend her skills with career path options. Once she graduated, Meredith went on to work as a private voice teacher. "The music teachers from my past, all the way from elementary to graduate school, shaped me in ways that not only made me a better musician, but a more functional member of society. I am a firm believer in the power and importance of music education, and I enjoy giving back in the areas of teaching and mentoring."

Enjoying her work as a private voice teacher, Meredith decided to take it a step further and pursue a masters degree in Vocal Pedagogy from TWU. She was soon hired as a soprano for an elite professional chorus in Dallas--Orpheus Chamber Singers.

"Just before graduating, I auditioned," Meredith explained. "I am now in my sixth year singing with Orpheus. And through other auditions and musician networks I have had the opportunity to sing with other premier groups in this area, including The Verdigris Ensemble, Dallas Chamber Choir, the Highland Park Chorale, Dallas Choral Festival, and Incarnatus Choir. Being a part of these groups has encouraged me to continue learning and perfecting my skills as a musician, which is (thankfully) a process that never ends."

When asked how Christ affects her approach to work, and life in general, Meredith states that "Christ shows me how to love and serve my family, colleagues, and students. He is the source of the strength that gets me through whatever the day brings, and gently reminds me when I most need it of the reason why I do what I do."

For those who aspire to land a career in music, Meredith encourages students to grow in their understanding of music theory and to build a strong foundation in aural skills. In the process of developing these critical skills, she recommends that students also strive to build strong friendships and to maintain an attitude of patience.

"When seeking an ultimate goal in your career, enjoy the process of working with and getting to know people," Meredith advises. "No matter how much time it takes to get from one step to another (and it can take years), spend more times focusing on doing a good job by showing up prepared and making true friends. More often than not, jobs come by word of mouth from a singing colleague or conductor who knows from personal experience that you are solid enough to recommend for another job."

Since August of last year, Meredith has served as one of the assistant choir directors at a middle school in Northwest ISD. She spends much of her time composing pieces for choirs, which are now in the process of publication, and she will continue to sing professionally this year. For the 2019-2020 season, she will be singing with Orpheus Chamber Singers, Verdigris Ensemble, Incarnatus Choir, and the Highland Park Chorale, all of which have exciting programming planned for the year in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Written by Faith Myers

Faith Myers is a member of University Communications at Dallas Baptist University.