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The history behind this award begins with a wonderful Christian luthier named Clive Morris from the United Kingdom, who had decided to create a cello to financially support AME. He named the cello 9/11 and placed it on the London Tarisio auction to be sold and all of the proceeds to be transferred to AME. In the Spring of 2012, this cello was sold to a Christian lady who bought the cello to praise God at her church in Chicago. In honor of Clive Morris, AME has decided to use part of the 9/11 cello fund to annually honor people like Clive who inspire and empower many with their generous gift and deep faith in God.  During the AME's annual benefit concert, this award will be honored to a Christian artist that embodies what AME is all about. A person that uses their gifting and excellence in the arts to EXALT God above all and EMPOWER the youth by using their platform to EXTEND God's love to all.

Past Angelos Artist Award Recipients:


2012    Mia Chung, Piano

2013    Stephen Clapp, Juilliard Dean  -

2014    Clive Morris, Luthier    -

2015    Hyunah Yu, Soprano   -

2016    Elizabeth Larson, Violinist   -

2017    Gary Parret, Author & Psalmist   -

2018.   Rosie Jon, Artist

2019    Reverend Hyeon Soo Lim   -

2021    Joy Yoojin Kim, Violinist/Singer/Song-Writer   -

2022    Dr. Helen Cha-Pyo, Conductor  -

2023    Thomas Jennings, Pianist & Composer  -

The 2023 Angelos Artist Awardee

Thomas Jennings

Pianist and composer

This year's theme for AME is having a Peaceful Heart. Thomas Jennings, our 2022 Angelos Artist Award recipient, will teach and share with us his personal powerful testimony.

Pianist and composer Tom Jennings has performed with artists from a wide array of genres in a career spanning over 30 years. Tom grew up in the beautiful mountains of Roanoke, Virginia, where he studied piano with Dorothy Dunbar and Milton Granger, accompanied the choir at Patrick Henry High School and played for services at First Baptist Church. 
Tom received bachelor and masters degrees in classical piano at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), where he studied with Landon Bilyeu and Ellis Marsalis. At VCU, he was the winner of the concerto competition, performing the Liszt Concerto No. 1 with the VCU Symphony, and was the pianist for Jazz Orchestra 1, playing alongside future stars James Genus, Steve Wilson, and others. It was also at VCU that Tom met and married his wife of 34 years, soprano Michelle McBride Jennings. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Manhattan School of Music, where he studied classical piano with Constance Keene, while also performing with the MSM Jazz Orchestra 1. 
Hailed by the Boston Globe as a “highly attuned pianist,” Tom has accompanied opera luminaries Ben Heppner and Jerome Hines, and cabaret stars Steve Ross, Karen Akers, and Leslie Uggams. Tom has appeared on numerous recordings by a diverse array of artists, including DeShannon Higa, Terry Silverlight, Gary Haase, Steve Sacks, Emily Drennan, Soo Bae, and many others. 
His latest project as a leader, Sunday Jazz, is a 4-album collection of jazz arrangements of church music, featuring some of New York’s top musicians. In December 2020, Tom released Viewed from Above, a collection of works for string quartet, piano, and soprano, featuring Michelle Jennings.
Tom’s compositions and arrangements include dozens of jazz hymn arrangements, works for string orchestra and soloist, string quartet and soloist, original songs and liturgical music, pieces for cello, oboe, brass quintet, and much more. 
With 30 years experience as a church music director, he has lectured at universities and conferences, and been profiled in publications such as Christianity Today, Charisma, and Worship Leader. He is a contributor to It Was Good: Making Music to the Glory of God. His original hymns and worship songs appear in numerous hymnals and are licensed by CCLI.

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