I would like to send this letter in support of Tom Lopez and his music lessons through the
Universal City Music Studio. My son Jacob Bissell has been a student of Tom's since his days in the band at
Kitty Hawk Middle School. At that time, Thomas was teaching Jacob drum techniques to supplement the
lessons at Kitty Hawk Middle School. Jacob ended up his Middle School tenure as an honored/awarded
musician with a great foundation in music.
Jacob moved on to Judson High School, and auditioned for the marching band. He won a spot on the Judson
Drum Line as a bass player. He held this position for two years, even though he could have moved to "snare
position" his second year, but stayed on bass to help the Director. Around this time, Jacob was starting guitar
lessons with Mr. Lopez.
After two years with the Varsity Judson High School Band, Drum Line, Jacob decided to take a break from
the marching band. At this time, it was found that Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA) needed a
percussionist. An audition was arrainged with YOSA, and Jacob was awarded a percussion seat with the
Philharmonic Orchestra (YOSA's number one performing orchestra). He held this position with YOSA during
his Junior and Senior years at Judson High School.
His Senior year of high school, Jacob had to be in the music program to be eligible for YOSA, so he talked to
the orchestra director at Judson HS. The Director needed a bass for the orchestra, so Jacob accepted the
position. He started the semester in the Beginner Orchestra. With his excellent musicianship, he learned the
instrument and was moved to the Honors Orchestra. He did receive honors for this position.
All this time, Jacob had continued taking music lessons and having recitals with Thomas Lopez. Jacob had
continuisly been a student of Tom's since middle school at Kitty Hawk. Now it was time to think of college.
Jacob had thought that "Music Thearpy" was an area of study he wanted to pursue. Looking at the
information from Texas colleges, only two in the state offered music therapy. One was in Houston, and the
other was the University of the Incarnate Word, in San Antonio, Texas. After applying, and going through
Music School auditions with the Director at Incarnate Word, he was awarded a Music School scholarship and
an academic scholarship. With the substantial scholarship money, he accepted the spot on the Incarnate Word
music school roster.
I would like to congratulate Thomas Lopez for instilling in his student Jacob, the musicianship needed to
advance to the level he has. He is active in the Incarnate Word Chorale, so he is learning about another
instrument- his voice. Jacob is active in two bands- Disposable and 16 Psyche. As well as writing music,
singing (fronting Disposable), he is currently teaching himself piano.
I want to add links below to several of Jacob's performances. If the links get lost, you may find
performances on YouTube by searching the names of the groups, and looking for "YOSA presents Carmina
Burrana," where you'll see Jacob's senior slide on the screen behind the orchestra, at the beginning credits.
While in YOSA, Jacob was with the first group to perform in the new Tobin Center, appearing twice about a
month before Paul McCartney played the venue. Jacob has performed with nationally known artists while in
the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, and went on tour to Canada with the organization.
Thanks again Thomas, for bringing out the best in your music students.