Brass, Woodwinds, Strings, Piano
Attended: Montana State University, Class of 85, Bachelors Degree in Music Education
Studied: Music Education & Music Arranging
From: Wheaton, Illinois
Teaches: Piano, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Flute, Piccolo, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Violin, Viola, Cello, Xylophone, Bells, Snare Drum
At Suburban Music Since: 2003
Music Preferences: Classical, Jazz, Musical Theater, Classic Rock, The Beatles
While a teenager Tom performed in drum corps, advancing to the DCI Championship finals for three straight years as a member of the Schaumburg Guardsmen. He was one of the first percussionists in drum corps history to perform in the groundbreaking new Front Ensemble section of the corps in 1978. After earning an Associates Degree at College of DuPage in 1981, Tom attended Montana State University where he studied with DCI Hall of Fame percussion teacher James Campbell. As a student Tom performed in the symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra, symphonic band, and percussion ensemble. Majoring in K-12 music education, Tom learned how to play and teach all of the band and orchestra instruments, and studied composition and arranging. In 1982, Tom performed in the opening ceremonies of Epcot Center in Florida as a member of a 450 piece college marching band assembled by Disney. Tom graduated from Montana State with highest honors in 1985, earning a Bachelors Degree in Music Education and a K-12 teaching certificate.
Over the years, Tom has worked as a private teacher, music arranger, and music videographer. He has instructed and arranged music for drum corps, and performed in musical theater. Tom recorded a CD of Christmas carols he played on wine glasses, and has created computer software programs for writing and teaching music.
Joining the Suburban Music staff in 2003, Tom teaches all of the brass, woodwind, and orchestral string instruments, including trumpet, trombone, French horn, euphonium, tuba, flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, violin, viola, and cello. He also teaches piano, xylophone, bells, rudimental snare drum, and bucket drumline. Tom’s teaching style emphasizes the development of music sight-reading and proper instrumental technique while encouraging students to progress at their own pace. He frequently writes music for his students to perform. Through his many years of teaching, Tom has learned that the goal of becoming a fine musician can be achieved by determined students of all ages who have the passion and drive to put in the time and work to develop the craft of playing a musical instrument.