How many young musicians do you know from Mississippi? How many can you relate to? How many have touched your life and help you be who you are? Well, this is one of them. Hello, my name is Tommie Rice Jr, a musician from Mississippi. I am thankful for the opportunity to write this essay. I hope it makes you feel who I really am.
I am the son of Tommie and Ruth Rice. I was given a fantastic gift, one that has brought me much joy and satisfaction. Since I was little, I learned to play the Keyboard, Drums and Bass Guitar. In Gospel music I found my passion. And there, is where my journey begins.
Like I mentioned before, music runs through my veins. I play in several gospel groups, where I have met amazing, driven and inspirational musicians. Every weekend, we tour around Mississippi, joining our voices and tunes for the gospel. Few words can fully describe how it makes me feel, that sensation of touching people’s lives thru music, thru my every chord I play, every key I press. People have come up to me, after the concerts saying how thankful they are for felling the healing power of music. It just goes to show that people are not always how they seem to be, many walk around life with a mask on, not revealing how deeply hurt they are, how much they would appreciate a hug from someone they love.
Along with the inspiration I got from my brother, (being the that one vessel who taught me everything I know), I found comfort in the vision and mission of institutions such as JAG and JMG (Jobs for Mississippi Graduates). They have ignited my passion and reaffirmed my determination that music can help change or redirect the lives of individuals that I come across in my musical performances! I have learned by experience the powerful effect of good conduct and a cheerful spirit. Such life lessons and skills learned at JAG have helped students like me, understand those issues and use them as stepping stones to advance to the next level of accomplishments. One good example of this was the CDC (Career Development Conference) which took place at the Jackson Convention Center in the spring of 2017. I knew what I had done, I was aware how much work and dedication led me to this pivotal point in my life. What a powerful and amazing feeling is to hear your name being awarded just for doing what you love. Who would have thought that I would win the 1st place in the entrepreneurship category on the state level.
Thanks to the life skills and competencies that I’ve learned from JAG, which are the fundamentals of JMG, I am committed to pursue a collegiate education. I plan to attend in the fall of 2018 a major in Entertainment Industry Studies. Once I’ve completed this educational goal, I will be better equipped in being a strong leader for my family, community, the State and this Nation, The United States of America!
Maybe you don’t know many musicians from Mississippi. Maybe there aren’t many you can relate to. But believe me when I say, I want to be the one who touches your life through music back to your life and realized how far you’ve come. Remember always
Tommie Rice Jr, a musician from Mississippi. Just an ordinary person with an extraordinary gift.