Meet the Musicians Percussion, Timpani
Orchestra member since 1991
Hometown: Millbrook, NY
Education: The Cleveland Institute of Music
Studied with: Cloyd E. Duff, Richard Weiner, Paul Yanchich, Jim Atwood
Instrument: His favorite instrument to play in the orchestra are his Pearl Philharmonic snare drums.
Tom is from Milllbrook, NY, just north of NYC, where he really enjoys visiting. It's Cleveland, though, that Tom has called home for the last two and a half decades, including his time as a student at CIM. NYC pizza may be one of his favorite things and its Marotta's Pizza on Lee Road, which Tom considers the only real New York style pizza in Cleveland. Tom is also a huge fan of Cafe Tandoor and the rustic Italian loaves from On The Rise Bakery and of course Sokolowski's University Inn and Prosperity Social Club, to name a few. His hobbies include tennis (he swings a mean racquet and loves Roger Federer), skateboarding--longboarding and slalom boards (he owns more than 80 boards but his favorite longboard is his Comet 44 and favorite slalom board is his Roe Hester model)--and running his own company, Freer Percussion. Tom's real affinity is collecting and restoring vintage instruments. He has quite the collection, and his knowledge is second to none; he is a true specialist. He has too many favorites to pick just one. We asked Tom if he has any interesting audition stories, and he replied with a wink, "They're all interesting...don't get me started." There is one memorable moment on stage in particular which has an alarming ring for Tom: "I was playing siren on Varese, Ameriques with TCO and CvD at Carnegie Hall. The siren started to fall apart during the concert and sounded like a wood chipper with sparks and flying shrapnel!" Tom is also coordinator of percussion studies at Cleveland State University.
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