DeAndre Allen-Toole

Composer, Performer, Producer

Growing up, music has always been the primary passion of my life. Channeling my enthusiasm, I taught myself how to play piano and percussion, and to read and compose music at a very young age. As I perfected my skills, I would go on to perform in numerous ensembles, write arrangements for groups I would establish on my own, and earn a collection of local, state, and nationally recognized awards for performance. However, what especially captured my imagination was writing music for visuals. When I first started to teach myself music, I realized I saw it in a spectacular array of color, much to the confusion of everyone else. It wasn’t until later that I realized that I had synesthesia, and I had learned to use it as a tool to realize the music I heard in my head based on the combinations of colors I saw while watching a movie or television show, or when playing a video game. 90% of the music I wrote was written for or inspired by a visual element, and it was these compositions that earned me a presidential scholarship to pursue music composition at Columbia College Chicago, where I am now finishing my undergraduate studies, and am preparing to seek an MFA in music composition for visual media elsewhere upon graduation. When I am finished pursuing my education, I hope that I can meld my innate gifts and musicality with technical knowledge to compose music for media (or in general) that is as natural of an experience for its audience as it was for me in its conception. 

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