College of Visual and Performing Arts Stories

CVPA Spotlight Series: Tomona Mims


 
Tomona Mims Lead

SUMMARY: Junior Tomona Mims is the recipient of the Sheets Family Scholarship Endowment for the Performing Arts, the Ben Wright Music Scholarship, the 2020 Jay Hollar Costello ’58 Scholarship Endowment in Music Education, and the 2021-2022 Presser Foundation Music Scholarship.


By Jen Kulju ('04M)

Tomona Mims began taking piano lessons “early on,” growing up in the Fredericksburg, Virginia, area. After playing for about seven years, she switched to the violin in middle school. Mims started private violin lessons the summer before her freshman year at Massaponax High School; she took lessons throughout high school, honing her skills before applying to study music in college. “I liked the string education program at JMU and had gotten to know orchestra director Foster Beyers,” shares Mims. “I also liked that it was close to home and in-state.” Mims was awarded the Sheets Family Scholarship Endowment for the Performing Arts as an incoming freshman.

Now a junior string music education major, Mims has received three CVPA scholarships: the Ben Wright Music Scholarship, 2020 Jay Hollar Costello ’58 Scholarship Endowment in Music Education, and the 2021-2022 Presser Foundation Music Scholarship. Mims says she feels “incredibly validated” to have received these scholarships and is grateful for having strong advocates in the School of Music—like her applied violin professor Wanchi (Huang) and Professor Beyers. Mims has been a member of the JMU Symphony Orchestra for three years, the Opera Orchestra for two semesters, and the JMU Chamber Orchestra for one semester. She is currently enjoying gathering people to jam to bluegrass music with two of her peers on Zoom and in JMU’s Warsaw Parking Deck. She became interested in bluegrass at the 2020 American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Conference in Orlando, and is currently serving as treasurer of the JMU Chapter of ASTA.

Photo courtesy of Tomona Mims

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Published: Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 6, 2021

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