Alumni Spotlight: Thomas Hassell '05

Shannon Polk, Director of Development
Meet Thomas Hassell. Thomas was a student at CIA from 2002-05. He is currently enrolled at Belmont University and is a member of The Alex Michael Band. Click here to read more about Thomas Hassell.
When did you attend Currey Ingram Academy, and what year did you graduate?
I attended CIA during its first few years at the new campus, from Fall 2002 to Spring of 2005. I fulfilled grades 6th through 8th at Currey Ingram Academy. I participated in the 8th-grade graduation ceremony.

What is your most memorable experience from CIA?
My most memorable experience at CIA was pioneering the Winterim Rock Band program with my friends and getting to work with Mr. Kelly! We were named “Anonymous” because we couldn’t think of a name before a show (ha ha)! We got to headline shows in the Lower School Multipurpose Room, the old Black Rose Theatre, and do some school-related outside gigs with Mr. Kelly and former CIA teachers Jody Nardone and Lucas Parry.

What is your current involvement with CIA?
I’m now just a three-year alum that likes to come back to campus just about every year to check up and see how things are doing. It’s cool to see what new buildings spring up every year or so and what innovative technologies are being taught/used! There have been talks of me coming back to do a clinic for the current Rock Band Winterim group and maybe working with the summer Rock Camp program for a short time while my band isn’t touring.

What is one piece of advice you would give to current Currey Ingram students?
You truly can do anything you put your mind to. It just takes hard work, determination, perseverance, and failure. That’s right, failure. As a musician, I am constantly hearing the word “No." I feel like Currey Ingram helped me learn how to bounce back. At CIA, I learned how to fail successfully. Hence, I also learned how to cope and try again. That kind of strength is not only important for surviving in the music industry, but for succeeding in the real world, as well. You can’t move forward if you have nothing to improve upon.

What did CIA do for you?
Currey Ingram Academy taught me how to deal with my struggles. Having ADD and a slow-processing disorder, I really needed to learn how to cope with school work and deal with it in a way that was productive and didn’t over stress me or drive me nuts with frustration. At CIA, I learned how to work hard and enjoy the fruits of my labor!

What has been the most interesting and exciting thing you’ve done thus far in your life?
There are a few that revolve around the same topic. In late 2011, I started a country band with a new friend and now almost three years of hard work and dedication later, we are playing on Broadway in Nashville at Margaritaville! Also, a Belmont University country vocal ensemble called Southbound covered our single Sold My Soul To Country at both of their performances this year! I composed the music to the song and our singer Alex wrote the lyrics. Seeing my name in the credits on the program next to other famous writers and performers felt like an honor. It was played twice at the first show and once at the second. It received quite the ovation each time! Those were proud moments!

Where are you enrolled in college, and what is your major?
I am currently still attending Belmont University and I am majoring in Mass Communications. Mass Communications deals with radio, television, and media management.

What are you currently involved in outside of college?
I am the Drummer/Co-songwriter for The Alex Michael Band. We play monthly at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville on Broadway in downtown Nashville!

What are your future plans?
My plans for the foreseeable future are to continue playing and writing music for The Alex Michael Band and to graduate from Belmont University. I get offers every now and then to play on someone else’s project, and I’m constantly writing music for multiple different genres (other than country) like Pop/Rock, Hard Rock and Bluegrass. If some doors open up for me, other musical opportunities may arise. Who knows?

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About Us

Currey Ingram Academy is an exemplary K-12 day school that empowers students with learning differences to reach their fullest potential. Since 2002, the school has been located on an 83-acre campus in Brentwood, Tenn., just miles from Nashville and Franklin. Families from 33 states and eight countries cite the school as their primary reason for moving to Middle Tennessee.

Currey Ingram Academy is accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and AdvancEd/Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI).