EVERETT — Joshua Thompson turns 18 today.
When people sing “Happy Birthday” to him, it will be one of the few times he can keep his lips sealed during a song.
Music has been a big part of his years at Mariner High School. It’s one reason he didn’t go full time to Running Start at Everett Community College his junior year. He wanted to stay in choir. Japanese class is another reason.
Thompson is the Japanese club president. He is also president of the choir, which performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City in April. He also found time to pursue cosmetology.
“I am a very energetic guy,” he said.
Thompson, the second youngest of five kids, said his interest in music began early.
“I’ve been singing my whole life. In middle school, I started vocal lessons.”
He was selected to be in the Washington Music Educators All-State and Northwest choirs all four years of high school. He won Maestro Awards during the choirs’ performances at Heritage Music Festivals in Orlando and Anaheim for solos.
He represented Mariner High School three times at the WIAA State Solo/Ensemble contest as winner of the Sno-King Music Educators Association district festival.
“Joshua has always been a leader in choir, both vocally and through demonstrating the teamwork that is needed to make a performing group achieve high levels,” choir director Patricia Schmidt said. “Joshua was instrumental both as a soloist and team player in helping achieve a gold award which provided the opportunity to go to Carnegie Hall.”
Broadway, pop and classical music are Thompson’s mainstay genres. His favorite: “Whatever song I am singing at the moment.”
Music isn’t the only thing beautiful to his ears.
“Midway through high school I discovered another passion I had,” he said.
He takes cosmetology classes at Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center, where he has excelled in hair just as he did in voice.
“I won the state and now I’m going to nationals,” he said. “I want to show that cosmetology students have got it, too.”
He’s going to Kentucky in June for the national competition in events with cuts, color and updos.
In early September, Thompson will begin a two-year religious mission. He doesn’t know where yet.
He said the delay means some cosmetology hours he earned won’t transfer over to the college when he returns, so he will basically have to start over.
“It’s a sacrifice I was willing to make,” he said.
He looks forward to a career in a salon.
“I love being able to express myself,” he said. “I want to go to work every day and do something that inspires me. I’ll be spending most of my time there so I might as well enjoy it.”
Why did he decide to pursue hair over music?
“Singing is a risky occupation,” Thompson said. “Music will always be a part of life, a big part of me.”