Tom has lived in the Holyoke area for over 60 years. Two people were very influential to his music career – his first sax teacher, Red Hebert, and his high school band director, Ed Nowak. After high school, Tom joined the Air Force and belonged to the Air Force Band for 4 years. He received a Bachelor’s degree from Westfield State College, and a Master’s degree from American International College.
Tom’s teaching philosophy is very simple – practice makes you better. You cannot hope to succeed on a musical instrument without practice. Through his career, Tom has played and recorded with a number of groups including the Flamingoes, the Shirelles, and the Harptones. He has played in many local bands including the Crescents and the Don Bastarache Big Band.
In addition to the amazing students and their families, Tom enjoys the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Gerry’s Music. He is happily married, has three adult children, and seven grandchildren.
When asked about his most embarrassing moment, Tom recalls a gig where he drove fifty miles to make it to the show, only to find once he got there that he left his mouthpiece at home! We are glad that Tom has yet to forget his mouthpiece when he comes in to teach!