Figure Skaters Bring Songs of Sequim’s Composer to World Championships

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SEQUIM – Jennifer Thomas’ “The Fire Within” continues to burn on ice rinks around the world.

Sequim’s songwriter / musician’s latest party features three professional figure skaters who used songs she co-wrote in late March at the 2021 World Figure Skating Championships in Stockholm, Sweden.

Rika Kihira from Japan and Cha Jun-hwan from South Korea skated on “The Fire Within” by Thomas and Kimberly “The Rogue Pianist” by StarKey and Alexandra Feigin from Bulgaria skated on “Moonlight” by Thomas and Viktoria Tocca.

“It’s crazy,” Thomas said in a telephone interview. “There were so many skaters (along with those from all over the world).”

Growing fan base

Thomas continues to learn from skaters using his music for routines, including Kihira skating on “A Beautiful Storm” in 2018 and 2019 for her freestyle routine.

Rika Kihira of Japan, seen here in February, skated on Jennifer Thomas and Kimberly’s “The Fire Within” StarKey’s “The Rogue Pianist” at the 2021 World Championships. The short routine earned her second and seventh overall. , as well as a place for Japan at the 2022 World Championships. Facebook profile picture

This instance led Thomas to gain a growing global fan base, especially in Japan.

But she said it has been a tough season for skaters with many competitions canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of skaters had routines practiced and ready to go; Rika has only skated this routine two or three times in the past 18 months, ”said Thomas.

At the World Figure Skating Championships, Kihira placed second in the short program using “The Fire Within” and seventh overall for the female competitors, helping Japan qualify three women for the country at the Olympic Winter Games. from 2022.

Cha placed 10th overall in men, qualifying South Korea for a place at the Olympics, while Feigin placed 17th overall, qualifying a place for Bulgaria.

Thomas said that she and “The Fire Within” co-producer Glen Gabriel were “super excited” for the skaters and were contacting each other during the championship. In addition to his songs, one of the songs produced by Gabriel was also used by a pair of skaters, and the competition was held in his hometown.

Bucket List

Thomas said that in her youth, when people asked her what she wanted to be as an adult, she said skater at the Olympics.

“I feel like part of my childhood dream is coming true; (it’s) played on the ice and hopefully at the Olympics, ”she said.

“This is only my hope. I don’t know if (Kihira and others will) keep the same program. I hope she keeps it for the Winter Olympics. It’s a huge list item for me.

With more and more skaters repeating Thomas’ songs, she began to follow the sport more and more and see herself tagged more on social media posts related to figure skating.

Thomas said Kihira’s coach picked “A Beautiful Storm” for the first go-around, but Kihira picked “The Fire Within” this time around.

“It’s exciting for me when they choose it,” she said.

NBC Sports commentators spoke to Kihira coach Stéphane Lambiel at the championships, who said they would not make any decisions on his schedule until the offseason.

Kihira represents Japan at the ISU World Team Trophy from Thursday until today, with skaters from the United States, Canada and a few other countries on NBCSN and Peacock Premium.

Back home

Thomas and his family juggle work and school from their home during the pandemic.

“I am blessed to be able to work from home,” she said as work continues on a new album.

No release date is set thanks to the uncertainty of the pandemic, but she said an interim release in the fall or winter is possible.

“I can do everything from home, except the orchestra. I can do it remotely and watch sessions (in London) from Skype, ”Thomas said.

“Everything works and is manageable. The exciting part is being there though.

Over the past year or so, she has found some solitude with daily walks and frequent visits to the beach while listening to her favorite playlists.

“Music has been a huge escape for me,” she said. “If I’m feeling a little anxious the music is great and a place I can go to create worlds.”

Thomas said much of his new music is inspired by Sequim with an oceanic and earthy theme that is atmospheric.

To hear Jennifer Thomas, find her on most major music platforms, visit jenniferthomasmusic.com and youtube.com/jennifer thomas.

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Matthew Nash is a reporter for the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is made up of the newspapers from Sound Publishing, Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach it at [email protected].



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