The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Former student hits reality stage

By Shelly Williams/editor-in-chief

While other children were playing sports, former NE student Patrick Thomas said he always knew that while growing up in Texas, where football is king, he had a different calling — country music.

Now in Nashville, Tenn., the piano-playing, guitar-wielding Vanderbilt student is a contestant on NBC’s newest show The Voice, sharing space with professional singers Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.

Former NE student and country singer Patrick Thomas makes it through auditions for NBC’s new reality show The Voice.
Photo courtesy NBC

The show is a vocal competition with the musicians coaching amateur artists they see as the most talented. Judges pick singers for their team simply based on their voice. The judges’ backs are turned while contestants perform on stage.

When judges like a contestant, they push a button to turn their seats around. Thomas had to choose who his coach would be after three judges wanted him.

He chose country musician Shelton, thinking Shelton could work specifically to help Thomas go the direction he wants with his country music.

“I remember bits and pieces. I remember struggling to focus and keep singing after watching Adam, Cee Lo and then Blake press their buttons and turn around,” Thomas said in his blog for The Voice.  “I remember the incredible sound of the audience.

“I remember Christina telling me to take my (cowboy) hat off and then asking me to continue with my pants. God, I remember that. My mama denied this ever happening. My Dad gave me a high-five. By the way, Blake Shelton is huge.  I know I’m not a very tall guy, but I felt extra short hugging that dude.”

But he said he wasn’t nervous. With a music résumé starting at a young age, it may be easy for some to understand why.

Thomas studied piano in the NE Preparatory Piano department in 2003 at 12 years old and then enrolled as a dual-credit piano student during his junior and senior years at Colleyville High School.

“His mom would let me know when he was singing at local community events, and I was just blown away by his rather deep voice,” former teacher to Thomas and NE music instructor Karen Parsons said in an e-mail. “If he went through a typical voice change, it sure was not very apparent.”

Thomas said he tried out for American Idol as soon as he was old enough but decided the show wasn’t for him. He said he’s thankful to be on a program that simply focuses on singing.

“I’m glad to be on a show that just showcases just that — my voice,” he said. “It’s liberating.”

Since the show aired, Thomas has met with Shelton who has worked with him on appearance, style and riffs when it comes to singing.

“Blake has so much experience,” he said. “He truly wants every person on his team to succeed.”

While Thomas said the best thing about the whole experience would be the connections he’ll take away, whether he wins or not, his mother Mary Ellen Thomas said she and his father are just thrilled watching their son do what he’s always loved.

“It’s neat to watch your child have a dream and pursue it,” she said.


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