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Panelist: Thomas J. McGurk
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Thomas J. McGurk

Episodes in which Thomas J. McGurk appears

Father of a child with Autism

Emmy-award winning composer, Thomas McGurk,  believes he is the luckiest person in the world because he makes a living doing the very thing he loves - creating music.

Thomas began his musical training by receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sound Recording Technology/Music Performance from the University of Massachusetts, from which he received the Young Alumni of the Year award in 1998. After his schooling, he moved to Seattle and began working at Bad Animals/Seattle where he engineered music, production, composing and mixing sessions.

Thomas's combined talent in sound design and composing earned him an opportunity to work on the innovative television program Disney presents:   Bill Nye the Science Guy. He went on to receive seven National Emmy Awards for sound design and mixing within five years of production of the Disney show. He also post-scored musical vignettes on Nye, showcasing his skills in musical styles from Hip-Hop to Wagner.

In June of 1999, Thomas joined Mike McAuliffe, Dave Howe and Seattle entrepreneur Charlie Nordstrom in acquiring Bad Animals/Seattle. He has   designed and built a customized music studio that boasts the latest gear for music scoring and composition.

Thomas has composed music for several high profile projects, including Treasures of the World, a national series of six PBS documentaries, with styles ranging from Indian to Gamelan, traditional Russian Classical, and contemporary American Jazz. As well as composing an original score for feature film Best Wishes by New Yorker Joffre McClung (2001), and the aeronautical documentary B-17 Flying Legend (2002), as well as Sundance festival films Much Ado about Puberty, and Spare Me, produced and directed by American Psycho's Guinevere Turner.  He sound designed and mixed the Disney World Epcot Center Installation Innoventions.   He recently completed the music for 15 episodes of The Eyes of Nye, an innovative series featuring Bill Nye, geared towards the 18-34 demographic.   He composed a series of cutting edge TV spots for National Geographic channel.   He remixed and composed a series of pieces for the Microsoft Office 2003 launch in New York City's Town Hall, featuring a live performance by international recording artists Zap Mama.  Tom also worked with Platinum recording artists the Tragically Hip, arranging horns for their Universal Music Group release In Between Evolution (2004).

A diverse clientele allows Thomas to compose music for many styles and genres, such as children's game-developer Atari Entertainment (Backyard Baseball, Football, Soccer, Basketball, Spy Fox, Freddi Fish, Putt Putt), create sound markers for corporate branding strategist Landor & Associates and compose music for Seattle's television station KCTS for which he received an Emmy Award for composition.  

He has worked with a diverse roster of artists, ranging from Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, to the Seattle Symphony, and jazz great Joe Pass,.   His client list includes Starbucks, Disney, GE, Microsoft, PBS, Atari, FCB, DDB, National Geographic, the Seattle Mariners, and many others.

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