Do you have a question for Tom? Email him at: email@example.com
So you have a new fan in me!! Saw Mannheim Steamroller and am now a fan of them, as well! What a show! But your performance was BEYOND excellent!! I sat in complete awe! The last drummer/percussionist that did that for me was Neil Peart of Rush. I felt like there were some similarities, so I wonder–who was your biggest influence as a drummer?
Submitted by: Marybeth 12/22/15
Thank you so much for your message. I’m so glad you enjoyed Mannheim Steamroller!
To answer your question – absolutely Neil was a big influence on me growing up, and it’s possible that I subconsciously slip a Neil-style fill in from time to time. 😉 As far as rock drummers, I have always been drawn to the more progressive players – drummers that I feel are adding to the piece from a compositional standpoint rather than just keeping time. Neil, the drummers of Genesis (Phil and Chester), the drummers of Yes (Bill and Alan), Sting and Peter Gabriel’s drummers (Vinnie, Manu, Jerry), just to name a few. I also love the more classic rock pioneering styles of Ringo, John Bonham, Ian Paice of Deep Purple, and of course, many others. I like to think of my style behind the drum kit as rock mixed with a formal classical upbringing, though my classical training is likely more evident in my own compositions.
Thank you once again, and have a Merry Christmas!
Saw you last night in Worcester. OMG you were amazing!!!!!! I was so fascinated by your every move. Personality and passion gushed with every beat of the drums! The entire show was so enjoyable from start to finish!! But, YOU were mesmerizing!! Merry Christmas and keep up the great work!
I stopped by the “signing table” after your Clowes Hall concert in Indy Saturday evening to tell you that you are the greatest drummer I have ever heard. To amplify, I have been in radio broadcasting more than 50 years. My favorite music is 50s rock and roll, Earl Palmer’s drumming especially. Earl’s early R&B session work was in Cosimo Matassa’s studios in New Orleans, the first one in the back room of his record shop. Well. Your performance in the near-perfect acoustics of Clowes Hall let me hear transients that just don’t get to develop or stay clean in a small room; nearly all recording studios are small rooms compared to Clowes. In a small room the acoustic intermodulation smears the transients, as I am sure you know. Saturday’s show was truly a once-in-a-lifetime listening experience for me. Thanks again for the best drum work I have ever heard.
Submitted by: Frederick, Indianapolis 11/23/15
Thank you so much. Indianapolis is always a special night. We love being there! Your words are very kind and I am humbled. I am glad you were there and I helped make it memorable for you! Have a Merry Christmas!
That was an awesome show (in Romeo, MI) Tom! We really enjoyed it! You are truly gifted!
Submitted by Dave, Romeo MI 10/11/15
Thank you Dave! Performing in Romeo was special for me. Great to see you! Tom
What a great show today in Rochester Hills. You are very gifted and yet humble. Thank you for sharing your passion for music with my wife Chris and me.
Submitted by Mark, Rochester Hills, MI 10/5/15
Hi Mark! Thank you very much! I really enjoyed the Rochester performance and I look forward to returning in the future! All the best! Tom
Great performance tonight in Zeeland! I need to familiarize myself with your work and Black Swamp Percussion. I’m a professional drummer/musician from Zeeland with 30 years experience.
Submitted by Jeff, Zeeland MI (9/21/15)
Thank you so much, Jeff! The Black Swamp performance was really fun! It’s a great group of folks that work there! All the best! Tom
I was in the audience at the RHPL yesterday and saw your awesome performance. THANK YOU so very much for sharing your amazing talent with us; was truly an outstanding performance.
You make Romeo and Michigan proud, and you are such a kind, generous person to share your talents so much. Continued success to you in all you do!
Submitted by Jackie, Rochester Hills, MI (10/4/15)
Thank you so much for the kind words. I sure did enjoy my time in Michigan. I plan to return. I hope to see you again!
I have been recently introduced to your music through a few co-workers. Now, I am thoroughly enjoying listening to your passion and talent ! So thank you for a new avenue in music to my ears.:)
Submitted by: Lisa, Tampa Bay, FL (7/2/15)
Hi Lisa! Thank you so much. I am so glad my music found you in Florida! I hope that my touring brings me back to Tampa Bay soon. Best wishes!
A perfect way to start off the new year listening to “Lifting The World.” Emotional, intense and so inspiring!! Many thanks to my sweet friend for turning me on to your wonderful music. Now I plan to share it with my son. He is home from college and can dedicate the time to not only hear your music, but to really “listen” and “feel”…let the music take him on an amazing journey. That is the way your masterpiece deserves to be listened to. Bravo Tom Sharpe!!
Submitted by: Donna
Thank you Donna! My heart is in that music. I’m so glad it is making an impression! Best to you in 2015, and keep in touch!
Mr. Sharpe, I am an 11 year old drummer that attended your concert in Austin, TX last night. I met you after the show and you autographed my playbill and told you that my drum line is headed to AGT, but Howard Stern will probably cut us out. My mom saved money from her second job to take me to the concert because she said that an amazing drummer would be playing. And she was right! Then to find out that you played with STYX! I try to copy what you play on my drums all the time! You and Joey Kramer are my favorites! I wish I had my drum sticks on me so that you could have autographed them for me!!! I have ADD so my mom (a musician) helps me compose music so that I can remember my studies, but I doubt any of them will be hits. I’ve been rocking out all morning on my drums!! I am saving up for a ride cymbal.. I really need one but they are expensive so I walk dogs for money. Maybe someday, I can play in a band like you! Anyway, next time you come to Austin, I hope to see you play again. I know a great burger place if you are hungry. Sincerely, Michael
Submitted by: Michael
Austin, TX (12/27/2014)
Hi Michael! Thank you so much for your message. What a great theater you have there in Austin, home of Austin City Limits! I really enjoyed it. Thank you for the kind words. I am glad you and your mom enjoyed the concert. You will have to keep me posted on how your drum line does on America’s Got Talent and let me know if there is any video. It will be a great experience no matter what. What an honor to be invited! I am happy to hear you are writing music. You are very young and it sounds like you have a great start. Don’t worry about writing “hits”. Only think about writing music you enjoy, and make sure you keep learning about music in school. You will come to learn that the more you enjoy what you do, the better chance you have of other people enjoying what you do, and that is the best path to success. Happiness is contagious and leads to bigger things! The next time I am in Austin, I will sign your sticks for you, and would love to visit the burger place, as long as they have a veggie burger. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 16 years! 🙂 Happy 2015! Tom
My daughter and I loved your performance at The Benedum in Pittsburgh Tuesday night…you made the show. Lots of energy and talent.
Submitted by: Donna
Pittsburgh, PA (12/18/2014)
Thank you Donna! I love the beautiful Benedum in Pittsburgh! Happy New Year!
OMG….My first concert….My husband and I attended the concert in Maryland……It was amazing! Thank you!!!
Submitted by: Shelly
N. Bethesda, MD (12/15/2014)
Hi Shelly! Thank you so much! As I mentioned below, The Strathmore in Maryland is truly amazing. What a gem you have there!
SIMPLY PUT. FANTASTIC AND AMAZING PREFORMANCE..
Submitted by: Connie
N. Bethesda, MD (12/14/2014)
Hi Connie! Thank you so much! We loved our concert in N. Bethesda, MD. The Music Center at Strathmore is breathtaking and even though we have been there before, we always just stare at the theater in awe. Thank you for the kind words!
Came out to see Mannheim Steamroller this afternoon because my late husband was a big fan and I wanted our daughter to hear this music even though my husband couldn’t be with us. We both loved watching you perform. Had no idea I was watching a fellow IAA alumni. I graduated in 1981 – I’m sure well before your time. Your performance was truly inspiring.
Submitted by: Amy
Washington, D.C. (12/13/2014)
Hi Amy, I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with your daughter. Thank you for sharing an evening with us. I hope that you felt your husband was there with you too. It’s always great to connect with a fellow IAA Alum! Best wishes to you and your daughter. Tom
THANKS for a very magical evening last night, at the Collins Center for the Arts. Truly a memorable musical journey. Your Skills are a WONDER to BEHOLD!!! THANKS again for unforgettable Steamroller Experience.
Submitted by: Don
Orono, ME (12/10/2014)
Hello Don! Thank you so much! We had a great time in Orono, ME. I’m flattered by your message. Have a wonderful Christmas!
Tom, Great show tonight in Maine! We heard several different people comment how “Great the drummer was!” My wife and I knew that already. Look forward to see you again!
Submitted by: Dan and Lynda
Orono, ME (12/9/2014)
Hi Dan and Lynda! Thank you so much! We loved being in Orono. We will be back! 🙂
Our family really enjoyed your performance last night at the Fox Theatre in Detroit! What great talent you all have. Your energy and showmanship are a joy to watch. The Silent Night encore was an extra special highlight of our evening. Your new album LIFTING THE WORLD is outstanding – it is so moving and beautiful! Thank you for sharing your gift of music. Happy Holidays!
Submitted by: Laurie
Detroit, MI (12/8/2014)
Hi Laurie! Thank you so much! It is always very special to return to Detroit, and to play at the FOX is always a continued dream come true! Thank you for the kind words about Lifting the World, too! My heart is in that album. I’m glad it shows. Merry Christmas!
Saw you tonight in Durham, you are amazing!
Submitted by: Elise
Durham, NC (12/2/2014)
Thank you Elise! We love the PAC in Durham! Can’t wait to come back! Happy Holidays!
Great Concert tonight in Hershey! You make Mannheim Steamroller!
Submitted by: Rodney
Hershey, PA (12/1/2014)
Thank you Rodney! Always great to play in the sweetest town on earth!
I saw you in Pensacola 2 weeks ago and you were amazing…just wanted to say that!
Submitted by: Debbie
Pensacola, FL (11/27/2014)
Hi Debbie! Thank you so much! We sure loved our time in Florida! Happy Thanksgiving!
Hi Tom: Just saw Mannheim Steamroller at the Fox Theatre Sat nite (11/22) and was absolutely blown away by your performance. Not to take anything away from the other members as they were superb also, but I cannot find the right words to express what a performance you gave us. One can see that all of your years of hard work and training have truly paid off. I just hope that Mannheim comes back to our beautiful theatre in Atlanta and maybe add “Little Drummer Boy” to your selection. Again, thank you for a great show!
Submitted by: Joan
Atlanta, Ga (11/23/2014)
Hi Joan, Thank you so much! We love the Fox Theater and we will most certainly be back. Thank you for the kinds words. I pour my heart into every performance and I’m always happy to know that it has an impact. I miss playing “Little Drummer Boy” too, and maybe we will put it back in next year. It sure is a fun concert to play, though! 🙂 Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
I was privileged to see you perform Saturday night at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. My first Steamroller concert. Incredible show. Truly inspiring to see and hear. Thank you! !
Submitted by: Joan
Atlanta, GA (11/22/2014)
Hi Joan! Thank you so much. We always love performing at your beautiful Fox Theater in Atlanta! Happy Thanksgiving!
Mannheim Steamroller last night in Sarasota was great but YOU were the show for us! Your talent & performance was a joy to see. Will be checking out & following all things Tom Sharpe from now on!
Submitted by: Debbie
Sarasota, FL (11/20/2014)
Thank you Debbie! I’m glad that I helped make the evening for you! I hope you can check out my own music sometime too! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Loving the iTunes samples of your latest album! A BIG Thank You to Sheri Hastings for turning me on to your music! I am going to check if the physical cd is available to purchase…if it IS, buying it TOMORROW!!! …am a major fan of Mannheim Steamroller, too, but LOVING the “native” feel of the drumming on this album!
Submitted by: Renee
Thank you Renee! I hope you enjoy the full album. I sure took great care in creating it. Happy Thanksgiving!
Amazing concert tonight!!! Didn’t get the guts to ask for a picture Maybe next year. Have a great rest of tour!!
Submitted by: Jodi
Hi Jodi! Thank you! Of course I would have taken a picture if you asked! Next time, for sure! Take care!
When I saw Dennis DeYoung and his band recently at EPCOT, my attention was first on what was happening right in front of me. I then glanced at the drummer and what I saw was magic. I was instantly transfixed. I can only describe it as driving rock beats mixed with tai chi and interpretive dance thrown in for good measure. How does one man exemplify all of that behind a drum kit? Tom Sharpe finds a way. Show after show for 9 performances, I was continually amazed and entertained. There was a captivating smile from behind those drums and upon meeting Tom I saw that his smile emanated from within. My impression of him was indescribable and even today I just don’t have the words. Discovering that Tom had a new release, Lifting the World, I couldn’t wait to listen. I wasn’t prepared for what I heard. From the primal beat of World Speak to the emotion provoking The Cathedral is Where You Are, each song seamlessly evokes your soul in a different way. As you listen, prepare to be moved. This isn’t music to be heard, it is music to be experienced…and experience you will; in your mind, body and soul.
Submitted by: Kim
Orlando, FL (11/9/2014)
Kim, this is quite touching to hear. My heart is bursting with gratitude. Thank you so much. It’s comments like your that make everything worth it.
We just saw you perform with Dennis Deyoung at Epcot in October. My friends and I were blown away by the band, but especially by YOUR performance! Even though I was never a Styx fan, they convinced me to go, and I’m so glad they did. We are looking forward to seeing you perform with Mannheim in Lakeland, FL soon. My question is, will you be back with Dennis Deyoung when he is touring Florida in February 2015? If you are, we will be going to as many concerts as we can. Thanks again for the phenomenal performances! Maureen Kelly
Submitted by: Maureen
Orlando, FL (11/1/2014)
Hi Maureen! Thank you so much! What a kind and flattering message. I appreciate it! I am looking forward to starting the Mannheim Steamroller 30th anniversary Christmas tour, and I will see you in Lakeland very soon! To answer your question, yes, I will be back with Dennis starting in January 2015 and will be at all the Florida shows in February. The orchestra shows are particularly special. Thank you again, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the concert! 🙂 Tom
We had the pleasure of seeing Mannheim Steamroller Christmas the past two years. The shows were incredible. I just wanted you to know we are huge fans of yours. I could easily see the passion you have for your music from the audience. You are an incredible percussionist and we hope you are coming back to the Binghamton area again this year. We would love to see the show again.
Submitted by: Bill
Endwel, NY (9/21/2014)
Hello Bill! Thank you so much for the kind words. I’m glad that we have been able to get to your area a few times lately. The only NY is see on the schedule this year is Rochester, and I will be there. I will be announcing my tour schedule for the rest of the year very soon. Hope to see you! Thank you again!
Attended the Keswick perferformace, rare for me since I getup at 4:30 and usually go to sleep at 8pm. Was one of the owners of the Keswick who revived and got it up and running. I’m glad I made to the show and enjoyed the evening and found your percussion work exceptional.
Submitted by: Elliot
Abington, PA (7/18/2014)
Hi Elliot! We enjoyed performing at the Keswick. Thank you for your efforts in keeping the theater going! I appreciate your kind words about my playing. Performance is my passion and I’m always happy to know that I’m reaching people. Stay tuned for the release of my second solo album in the fall this year. Hope to see you again!
I believe you to be the VERY BEST PERCUSSIONIST that I have ever seen……and I have seen many…….your perforrmance with Mannheim Steamroller stole the show….REALLY !!!!
Submitted by: Bruce
Flint, MI (12/15/2013)
Hi Bruce! Thank you so much. I believe that the audience deserves my best, every night, and that is what you get! I’m always happy to know it makes a difference! Thank you, and Merry Christmas!
My husband and I attended the show at Shea’s yesterday – it was outstanding as usual however – we must say that you definitely steal the show! My husband and I can’t take our eyes off of you when you are performing. You are truly AMAZING!
Submitted by: JoAnne
Buffalo, NY (12/9/2013)
Hi Joann! I’m always happy to hear when fans enjoyed the show. And thank you for the comments about me. I am flattered! Have a Merry Christmas!
Enjoyed the show in Bangor and every chance I get when the orchestra comes to NE. Can you tell me please ( Little Drummer Boy being a favorite ) will you do or is there a DVD featuring you doing the Drummer Boy? All of the fans would LOVE IT! Best wishes and thank you ” )
Submitted by: E. Wood
Bangor, Maine (12/9/2013)
Hi there! Thank you for the kind words. I would love to do a DVD. Hopefully in the future we can make that happen. In the meantime, there is always youtube (maybe someone captured it), and I can also be heard on the new Mannheim Steamroller album “Christmas Symphony II” . Not specifically what you asked, but it’s a great CD and I’m proud to be on it. Have a Merry Christmas!
I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Manheim Steamroller’s concert in Syracuse, NY recently. An awesome experience! You were absolutely great on the drums! Best wishes for continued success!
Submitted by: Joe
Syracuse, NY (12/8/2013)
Hi Joe! Thank you! We had a great time in Syracuse. I am sure you must be very proud of that absolutely gorgeous theater! We hope to be back soon. Merry Christmas!
Can’t wait for Dec 18 in Huntsville AL.. We are bringing our daughter and son in law and are soo hoping to see your amazing in sync performance with the Little Drummer Boy slide show behind. It was so amazing to watch last year. Any chance of a backstage meeting with you? You guys make our Christmas season!!!!! I start listening to the Christmas CD in July!!!
Submitted by: Janice
Huntsville, AL (12/5/2013)
Hi Janice! Thank you. I think the chances of us playing the Little Drummer Boy this year are quite good. 🙂 See you then!
Just wanted to tell you that I thought your performance last night in New York was amazing. You have such energy while performing – I couldn’t take my eyes off of you. Your love for what you are doing came through loud in clear! Jackie
Submitted by: Jackie
Valley Stream, NY (12/1/2013)
Thank you so much Jackie! We loved being with you in Greenvale! I’m always happy to know that I made a difference. 🙂 Merry Christmas!
I was at the Mannheim Steamroller concert at the Mayo PAC in Morristown last night and just wanted to say that it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever gone to! I love their Christmas music and hearing it performed live was a wonderful experience! It was awesome to see you express such passion and talent through everything you played; I could feel the depth of emotion that you put into it. You brought a unique element to the performance that made it a real pleasure to watch. 🙂 I was especially impressed by how you used the drumsticks and mallets at the same time! Best of luck to you with the rest of your tour this year; do you think you’ll come back to NJ again next year? It’d be really great if you did; I’d definitely come to see another amazing show! 😉
Submitted by: Lara
Hawthorne, NJ (11/30/2013)
Thank you Lara! I certainly am passionate about what I do and I put my heart into it. I’m alway happy to know that it shows. The audience deserves my best every night. And yes, we will come back to New Jersey! You were great! 🙂 Merry Christmas!
Tom, I spoke to you at the autograph table after the show. You may remember me telling you that you folks infused some happiness into a sad soul that night. Also told you you’re the best I’ve ever heard and watched and I’ve seen some major rock concerts and no one compares. My co worker couldn’t stop talking about your drumming performance the next say and she didn’t even know I had been there. I’m still shaking my head in awe over the greatest percussion performance I’ve seen in my 62 years. You made this old rocker very happy. You guys are amazing beyond description. Please come back to Youngstown ohio again and again. Thank you for an incredible performance
Submitted by: Tom
Youngstown, OH (11/27/2013)
Hi Tom! Thank you so much. Comments like yours make my day – that I helped turn around a tough time for you. And thank you so much for the flattering words about my drumming. I’m sure I am in good company with the other musicians you appreciate and hold in high regard! We will definitely come back to Youngstown. Loved being there! Merry Christmas!
Thanks for a great performance Monday night in Youngstown, OH. It was AMAZING! You are an incredible musician. it was a great way to start the holiday season too! So glad we got to say Hello! See you at another concert soon or on a plane. 😉 Mary Jo
Submitted by: Mary Jo
Youngstown, OH (11/27/2013)
Hi Mary Jo! It was great to meet you on the plane to Akron, and then see you again in Youngstown! Always wonderful to make new friends! Merry Christmas to you and your family!
You are the best musician I have ever seen. My life has changed after seeing you. Been online looking for anything I can hear or see. I am 78 and don’t get surprises anymore. You are all I watched at the concert. Such a blessing you are and so rare. I would buy any cds of you playing, but especially when you play with Mannheim. sincerely, Sylvia
Submitted by: Sylvia
Nashville, TN (11/26/2013)
Hi Sylvia, Thank you so very much! I am always very touched to know that I have made a difference in someone’s life. I believe it is my life’s purpose to inspire, motivate, and bring happiness to others. I can be heard on the latest Mannheim Steamroller CD “Christmas Symphony II”, available at www.mannheimsteamroller.com. And, my own music is available right here on my website! Merry Christmas!
Tom my family and I saw you perform at Deyor Monday night. You rock !!! Your performance was amazing . The energy and passion you have comes shining through and ignites your audiences. Thank you for such a memorable start of the holiday season for our family, one we will not soon forget. May God continue to bless you with your amazing talent and give you and the group traveling mercies to and from each city you travel. Be blessed and have a wonderful holiday season! Thank you so much ! Please come back soon ! Caren 🙂
Submitted by: Caren
Youngstown, OH (11/26/2013)
Hi Caren! This is a very heartfelt note you have sent me. Thank you so much! Youngstown was great. You have a beautiful theater there and I enjoyed it very much. Happy Holidays to you too!
Thanks so much for performing in Roanoke on such a cold evening. Did you enjoy the show as much as I did? You and the group were all FABULOUS. Please come back.
Submitted by: Susan
Roanoke, VA (11/25/2013)
Hi Susan, It was our pleasure. We loved the great crowd in Roanoke! And, yes, I did enjoy it as much as you did! Always. 🙂 Merry Christmas!
Just got back from seeing you in Nashville with the M Steamrollers and I have to say you stole the show! I have never enjoyed anything as much in my life—-soooo good! Hope you will be with them in Huntsville Alabama
Submitted by: Cindy
Fayetteville, TN (11/24/2013)
Hi Cindy, Thank you so much! I’m glad it was such a great night for you. We loved being at TPAC in Nashville! And, yes, I will be in Huntsville on December 18. I hope you will be too! 🙂 Tom
Not a question, just a THANK YOU for the wonderful concert last night in Lexington, KY. Pretty lame that we had to move from Chicago to here to get the time to finally see you perform. Really WORTH IT. Thanks again. Go DePaul!
Submitted by: Cathy and David
Lexington, KY (11/23/2013)
Hi Kathy and David! We had a great time at the Lexington Opera House for our 3 shows. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I wish I would have known you were there. Would have loved to say hello to some fellow Blue Demons!
No question. Just thanks. I usually am not a drummer person (usually piano), but your performance stirred me. I loved it. I also loved Silent Night. Brought me to tears, and had me remember my childhood (before my parents got divorced). Thanks for the wonderful concert.
Submitted by: Jill
Fayetteville, NC (11/20/2013)
Hi Jill, Thanks for crossing over to the drum side! 😉 I am glad you enjoyed the show at that it was moving for you. I agree about Silent Night. It feels the same performing it as you described listening to it. Tugs at the heartstrings, for sure. O Holy Night as well. Very emotional. Thank you again and have a Merry Christmas!
Hi Tom , I heard you yesterday in Akron and i must say you were awesome!! The other band members were good too but you certainly stood out from the others. Am thinking of seeing you again in Youngstown!Wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Xmas. Again you are awesome. Am sure you don’t get tired of hearing that!
Submitted by: Karen
Akron, OH (11/18/2013)
Hi Karen! Thank you so much! And, no, I don’t ever tire of hearing that I’ve made people happy. 🙂 I hope to see you in Youngstown and Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to you as well!
Mallory and Tyler had a blast at the Mannheim Steamroller concert! The next generation of Mannheim fans first year was such a success. My heartfelt thanks. Thank you for the back stage tour and for explaining and showing my children all of the instruments you play! The show was amazing as always and giving them each a signed drumstick that you played with after the show was one of the kindest and sweetest things they have ever received! They will never forget you, you have inspired them for life! Thank you again Tom from the bottom of my heart!
Submitted by: Bernadette
Akron, OH (11/17/2013)
Hi Bernadette! I’m glad you all had a good time. It’s all about the kids, I always say!
Hey Tom! Will you be on the road with Mannheim again this Christmas? If so, which group will you be touring with?
Submitted by: Jim
Mannhattan, KS (10/1/2013)
Hi Jim! Yes, I will be drumming on the Christmas tour! 🙂 I have my dates posted on my website now. Hope to see you! Tom
We saw you in Mission Viejo last night night. it was amazing to watch the way you move on the drums. The whole show was sooo awesome. WOW Thanks so much for a great fun night. It brought back so many memories. Dennis voice is still so awesome. But you were the bomb!!
Submitted by: Barb
Mission Viejo, CA (8/4/2013)
Thank you so much Barb! We had a great time, playing right on the lake. What a beautiful area! It is such an honor to be a part of Dennis’ legacy, and hear his amazing voice night after night. I’m glad you enjoyed the performance and I’m grateful for your comments! 🙂 Tom
Hi Tom, I just wanted you to know that the staff and student from Near North School loved the performance. My students in 205 said that this was the best performance all year.Thanks for coming.
Submitted by: Soraida
Hi Soraida, It is always my pleasure to perform and talk to students. It’s part of my calling in life! 🙂 I’m glad everyone enjoyed the performance, and I hope to return soon. Have a great summer! Tom
Thank you so much for your performance/demonstration tonight at CUC! It was awesome!
Submitted by: Brenda
River Forest, IL (2/25/2013)
Hi Brenda, You are very welcome. It was a pleasure. Thank you for having me back to Concordia University this year! 🙂 Tom
Incredible performance thanks for Sharing Tom, and thanks for your message at SEA 2013!
Submitted by: Gareth
Hi Gareth! Thank you for the kind words, and see below for my thoughts on the conference. 🙂 Best wishes! Tom
I was at the SEA conference in Lisle today, I just wanted to thank you for the awesome presentation. I don’t know whether I was more impressed with your speech or your music. (Well, maybe the music ) But, anyway, Well Done. It was very inspirational and I thank you.
Submitted by: Patty
Elgin, IL (2/22/2013)
Hi Patty! Thank you so much! I was honored to be asked to deliver a keynote address at the conference, and very appreciative of the reception I received. I’m glad that it spoke to you and hope that it provided some insight. Best wishes to you and your career! 🙂 Tom
Great performance last night at GWU. You are amazing! We really enjoyed it. Thanks again! 🙂
Submitted by: Robin
North Carolina (2/20/2013)
Hi Robin! Thank you so much! It was really fun going on a tour of North Carolina and spending some time with the students at Gardner-Webb University and the public schools surrounding the area. I will look forward to returning in the near future! Take care, Tom
Are there any future plans to film a concert dvd or special with Dennis DeYoung? Will the show be retooled for the new year! You guys sound great! thanks Jason
Submitted by: Jason
Summit, New Jersey (1/2/2013)
Hi Jason! Thanks for the kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed the show. I’m not sure what plans Dennis has for us this year, but I know that we’re all eager to get back out there and are ready for anything he throws at us! Dennis has a Facebook fan page and an official website. He’s usually quite good at answering fan mail, so give him a try! Hope to see you on the road in 2013!
Tom, You were fantastic at the Mannheim Steamroller concert in Tulsa Sunday afternoon. The music was great and I thought you stole the show with your flair with the sticks and mallets. My wife and I took our young son to see MSR live the last time they visited Tulsa and had a great time so, when we heard Tulsa was part of the 2012 tour, they both wanted to go again. With the help of a presale invite code I was able to get front row center seats for the three of us. Unfortunately, my wife passed away two weeks ago and my 8 year old son and I had to decide whether we still wanted to go to the concert without Mom. Throughout the show we whispered back and forth as some of her favorite songs were performed. The wonderful encore performance of Silent Night was very emotional for me. Then to my amazement, as you took your final bow, you stepped forward and gave your drum sticks to my son! Your gracious act has sealed a positive memory of how life will continue to go on with Mom smiling down at us from above that neither of us will ever forget. Thank you so very, very much! We look forward to seeing you again on your next visit to Tulsa.
Submitted by: Ken
Tulsa, OK (12/31/2012)
Dear Ken, Your e-mail is extremely moving. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. It is a reminder for me to always be positive and do good things. I will not always know someone else’s story or what they are going through, and it’s reassuring to know what impact I may have even when I don’t expect it. Being an inspiration and a positive role model for children is something I feel is part of my calling in life. I often think before a performance that if I can reach just one person on a higher level, then it’s a successful night. Please hold on to those sticks, and when I see you again, I will sign them for your son. God bless you, your son, and your wife. Thank you again. Tom
Just got back from the State theater in New Brunswick NJ from the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Show and must say, YOU ARE UNBELIEVABLE!!! I was amazed at your talent on those drums and other instruments you were going crazy on!!! As great as the entire group was, I have to say “You make the show.” Merry Christmas and a Happy, healthy 2013!
Submitted by: Betty and Tom
Edison, NJ (12/7/2012)
Hi Betty and Tom, Thank you so much! I love being at the State Theater in New Brunswick, and in fact have been there many times both with Dennis DeYoung and Mannheim Steamroller. If you are on Facebook, they actually interviewed me for a little segment they do with their artists sometime. You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151361417643900&set=vb.289755577800931&type=2&theater Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the show! Happy New Year to you too!
Last year, I sent my son and mom to watch Mannheim Steamroller in Roanoke, VA. I was unable to go, and my son spends most of the year listening to your music so it was imperative that he experience the sounds of Mannheim Steamroller in person. This year, he is 9 years old, and the love that he has for all of you still remains! So, as an early Christmas present, he and I had “date night” and attended your concert in Johnson City. This time, he sat on the second row, and was so proud. You and Jeff Yang were his “favorites” and we were both blown away by your talent. Thank you for inspiring him and creating a “roadie”. I know I have done well when he listens to the music I grew up appreciating! He is on his second year of piano, and has recently started the recorder. “Next time”, he sees you in concert , he says, “I’m going to meet him and get his signature…” Until next time, thanks for the memories and inspiration!
Submitted by: Rachelle
Johnson City, TN (12/5/2012)
Hi Rachelle! I’m so glad that we have a little guy leading the way for the new generation of Mannheim Steamrollers! 🙂 I think you meant to say “groupie” and not “roadie”, right? Though I bet the crew would always appreciate an extra hand! 🙂 Please tell him to keep practicing, and some day we will go to one of HIS concerts! Until then, keep in touch, and I would be happy to meet him and sign an autograph. All the best!
Hi, Tom… what an absolute joy it was to watch you perform recently in Knoxville, TN. As a drummer myself (back when I was in school–but once a drummer, always a drummer, right?!?), I couldn’t take my eyes off you. You and the rest of Mannheim Steamroller gave my family and me a night to remember. For that, I am truly appreciative. All the best to you this Christmas season!
Submitted by: Patty
Morristown, TN (12/5/2012)
Hi Patty! Thanks so much! You are right – once a drummer, always a drummer! It’s never to late to get those drums back out again, or get some new ones and get playing again! We really enjoyed being at the Knoxville Coliseum. I have one question for you about your lovely city – what is the deal the the statue of the the guy rowing a boat in cement? 🙂 Thanks again!
I just saw you in concert at Freedom Hall in Johnson City, TN. You were awesome!! I could see you are very passionate in what you do. I was mesmerized just watching you play the drums and other instruments. You are very talented. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
Submitted by: Michelle
Jonesborough, TN (12/4/2012)
Hi Michelle! Thank you so much. You are right, I do have a deep passion for music and performance. I am very glad it shows. Thanks for having us in Jonesborough! Merry Christmas!
Thanks for another fabulous MSR show! I saw you last year in Bakersfield CA, and then this year in my hometown Johnson City TN.
Submitted by: Michelle
Johnson City, TN (12/4/2012)
Hi Michelle – Wow, that’s great! We had a blast in Johnson City. What a great crowd! Plus, I managed to swim laps AND run on your track earlier in the day! All in all, a huge success! 🙂
Tom, I just wanted to say I was amazed by your performance last night at The Ferguson Center in Newport News! Thank you again for sticking around to sign autographs! 🙂 Safe travels through the Holiday. ~Amy
Submitted by: Amy
Newport News, VA (12/3/2012)
Hi Amy! Thank you! Newport News is a favorite stop of ours. Glad you were there. Have a Merry Christmas!
Enjoyed your Augusta performance last night. .I have never seen a drummer who was the mainstay of the show. Fantastic!
Submitted by: Steve
Augusta, GA (11/30/2012)
Hi Steve! Thanks so much. I always enjoy our stop in Augusta. Beautiful theater, great fans, and of course, home of James Brown! Huh! Pop-corn! 😉
Watched you last night in Birmingham-our second concert-PLEASE I would love to have a video clip of the Little Drummer Boy. You were unreal!!!!! My husband and I are retired seniors with 9 grandkids-they have got to see you on that song. I am trying to get some of the boys to take drum lessons! Can I purchase a video of your performance of the song?
Submitted by: Janice
Northport, Alabama (11/29/2012)
HI Janice, Thank you so much. Little Drummer Boy is certainly a favorite with audience members. I’m honored being the drummer that brings it to life! I am not sure of any plan to release our tour on DVD. I do know that there was some very good coverage of me performing this piece on the 2011 Pandora Ice Skating Spectacular on NBC, but I don’t even have a copy of that myself! A general inquiry post on your part to the Mannheim Steamroller Facebook page would certainly get you an answer. Thanks so much and please keep in touch with your pursuit. I’d like to see it too! 🙂
Hi Tom: We were in awe of your performance last night at the Saenger Theater in Pensacola. My husband was a percussionist during his high school days and played professionally for a while after graduation before he entered Navy Flight training when he gave up his musical talent to fly airplanes. He still enjoys listening to “good” music and last night was certainly exception by your performance with Mannheim Steamroller. WOW, what a treat! We thoroughly loved every minute. Had seen one of your groups at Branson several years ago but last night far surpassed them. Thank you for a wonderful evening and we hope you and the group return again next year. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
Submitted by: Dee and Linda
Pensacola, FL (11/28/2012)
Hi Dee and Linda, Thank you so much for your note. We had a great time in Pensacola. Thank you for your service to our country in the Navy. You are very appreciated!! Happy Holidays! Tom
Saw the MSR concert this afternoon in Columbia SC. Awesome! Sweet that you gave your sticks to the little ladies!
Submitted by: Lynn
Columbia, SC (11/26/2012)
No matter what, it’s all about the kids, Lynn! Glad you enjoyed the show!
Hi Tom, My husband and I had the honor to watch your performance in Atlanta, at the unforgettable Fox Theatre. We have several Manheim Steamrollers CD’s and always crank them up at home. But to see this live, was the performance of our lives!!! We couldn’t keep our eyes off of you, during your performance. I am a huge fan for watching drummers and you out performed any drummer that I have ever seen. You put everything that you have, heart, soul, and physical, into your playing. You really show how much you love what you do. Awesome, super show. How did you become a player for Mannheim steamrollers? It was a beautiful experience and I love the Mannheim Steamrollers!! Y’all did an amazing performance, at the Fox!!! Happy Holidays! Sincerely, Diane and Jim
Submitted by: Diane
Buford, GA (11/25/2012)
Hi Diane and Jim, Thank you so much! We loved being at the beautiful Fox Theater in Atlanta. I appreciate the compliments and I’m so happy to know that I had a positive impact on your evening. To answer your question, I was already playing drum set with Dennis DeYoung when this position in Mannheim Steamroller opened. Mutual colleagues recommended me, and after a private audition with Chip Davis, I was off and running. Now I’m very happy to be in my 5th season and look forward to many more. Merry Christmas!
Caught your performance in Tampa Saturday Nov 17 and would like to compliment you. Your musicianship was extremely impressive, not forced, and done with flair. Your range of instruments displayed versatility within the different genres of styles played. These days there are many on stage who arguably don’t belong there but you do. Keep up the great work!
Submitted by: Jeff
Oldsmar, FL (11/19/2012)
Hi Jeff! Thanks so much! I love what I do and I put my heart into every performance. It means a lot to me when I hear from fans that my performance was moving or inspiring. I appreciate it! Happy Holidays!
2 questions: 1) what kit do you use for Mannheim Steamroller, and 2) can you tell me what woodwind controller Joey Gulizia plays? I just say the show in Tampa and really enjoyed watching you perform. It was an amazing show and you’ve done a great job filling Chip’s percussion shoes. I’ve had the pleasure of working with a number of talented percussionists, and I always admire elite talent when I get to enjoy it. It was a joy to watch a master.
Submitted by: Sid
Valrico, FL (11/17/2012)
Hi Sid, Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the show in Tampa. It’s an honor to play Chip’s music and I’m always happy to hear that I am representing it well. The drum set I use is a blend of electronic and acoustic instruments, with Roland V-Drum pads and Sabian cymbals, as well as a multitude of percussion too extensive to list. Joey’s woodwind controller, I believe is called an EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) made by Yamaha. Happy Holidays! Tom
Missed you with Mannheim Steamroller in Phoenix last night!! You were here last year and the performance was superb. Thank you again for inspiring us SO MUCH!! Anne and Lloyd
Submitted by: Anne
Scottsdale, AZ (11/11/2012)
Hi Anne and Lloyd, Thank you so much. I was really honored to perform the Pandora Holidays on Ice skating spectacular in 2011. This year when they filmed the show on November 8, I was with Dennis DeYoung, performing at Epcot Center in Orlando. I bet it was a great show though, and I look forward to seeing it air. For all my Mannheim Steamroller dates along with my other performances, please check here on my website, under performance dates. Hope to see you again soon! Tom
Hey Tom, it was really cool getting to watch ya’ll play for the first time at Disney. Playing drums myself, it was definitely like class, man. I was taking in every second of it the best I could. Greatly appreciate you taking some time to share a few words after the show. That was really cool of you, bro. And to learn that you’re from Michigan was pretty sweet. Thanks for the positive encouragement. I can only hope to play as good as you one day. I hope that ya’ll come back and play again sometime soon. Can’t wait. Thanks again. Keep on rockin’ Tom.
Submitted by: Joshua
Orlando, FL (11/8/2012)
Hi Joshua, Thanks for all the kind words. It is always important to me to know I’m inspiring young musicians with what I do, so I really appreciate hearing that. Best wishes to you in all your musical endeavors, and keep going no matter what. I hope to see you again! Tom
Tom- will you be playing at the December concert in Cleveland. Saw you a couple of years ago and was “blown away” as the young folks say.
Submitted by: Jim
Mentor, Ohio (7/28/2012)
Hi Jim! Thank you for your note. Yes! I will be in Cleveland, December 21, on tour with Mannheim Steamroller at the State Theater. I will also be at the Playhouse Square with Dennis DeYoung on November 2. I am double dipping in Cleveland this year! 😉 Thank you for your compliments, and I hope to see you! Tom
Hey Tom Bill & cheryl from safety harbor Fl. Can’t wait for to see you in mannheim here .It was one of the best shows we saw ..My question is how many more instruments will you use for your kit in Mannheim then you use with DeYoungs or is it the same .Thanks tom can’t wait to see you. Bill & cheryl
Submitted by: Bill and Cheryl
Safety Harbor, Florida (7/23/2012)
Hi Bill And Cheryl, Thanks for your note! I have not counted my instruments in either group. However, I probably should, as I get asked that question a lot! 🙂 For me, the two performances are so different. With MSR, i do utilize my classical background a bit more. Along with drum set, I play glockenspiel, recorders (flutes), hammer dulcimer, classical tambourine and castanets, toy piano (really!!!) as well as all the electronic drum pads and such. it really is a mesh between 18th century classical and modern sounds. With Dennis, it’s a double bass drum, slamming show. However, his composition in that genre is so unique, it still allows me the opportunity to be creative and bring out some subtle nuances. Regardless of which group (and my OWN group as well!!), my heart is invested in this music, and you will get nothing but the absolute best from me – every night! Mannheim and Dennis are in Florida within the next few months, and I will be with them both. Hope to see you soon! Tom
I will never be able to thank you enough for taking time to bring your wonderful talents to the Miss New Mexico pageant! You are truly a great artist with grace and style, and now a good friend as well. I will find you when you perform close, so always expect a friendly face gazing up at you from the audience. Many blessings to you and your sweet family for continued success.
Submitted by: Carol
Cloudcroft, New Mexico (7/6/2012)
Hi Carol! I had such a fantastic time with you in New Mexico! You are very welcome, and thank you so much for having me! I’m still amazed that the whole thing worked out. It truly was fate! And, thank you for treating us judges so well all week. You made us feel every bit as important as the job we had in front of us, and I consider you a dear friend as well! Thank you for your kind words and I would love to see you at a performance again soon!
Hey Tom. I met you in Elgin about 2 months ago. I am a drummer too. Im in a Styx tribute band and we are trying to play all the hit but still know all the songs. I am not great at playing off recordings and can’t find drum music for Styx anywhere. So I thought you could help. Did you receive music when you joined DDY? If so can you please help me out, unless it breaking some kinda rule. Thanks Addison.
Submitted by: Addison
Hi Addison, Yes, of course I remember you. That is cool that you are doing STYX music. Fun, huh? 🙂 I’m afraid I don’t have any information for you about written music for STYX. Though I have been a music reader my whole life, and have two college degrees in classical music (which of course, is all written), nothing was given to me as I prepared with the others for the drum audition. My advice to you is, if you really are better with written music in front of you, use this as your opportunity to work on your listening skills, and transcribe (write out) some of the drum parts yourself. You are a young guy, and this is a chance for you to grow as a musician. I hope that helps, and I look forward to seeing you again soon! Tom
Hello Mr. Sharpe: I do not find the way to contact you directly, I hope by this way, or somebody from your management and website crew could do it for me, and help me. Mr. Sharpe, I do not want to bother you, sorry if I did, but it is important for me. I live at Montreal, Canada. I was at your show with Dennis DeYoung at Montreal, at front row. At the end of the show you threw me your drumstick, at the entire show I demanded you one, and finally you threw it to me, but a guy from the security crew caught it and he didn’t give it to me, he kept it, believe me I almost cried. After the show I tried all the ways to have one with the roadies and your drum tech, but they didn’t have time to check it, no problem. Mr. Sharpe, I want to say you thank you for the show, what a show!!!, you always stole it!!!!! personal opinion. Thank you for your music (Like Setting Myself on Fire is a great album, I like it), thank you for your drum passion, thank you to try to give me your stick, you are inspirational and a model for the new drummers, musicians and fans like me, that’s the reason to bother you to demanding again an used drumstick. I saw you a couple of times at USA and Canada but never really close to the stage to demanding directly your drumstick until Montreal’s show. I would like your stick because I am a drummer, not professional obviously, and I collect memorabilia from drummers directly from the shows, and I tried at yours at Montreal. I have used sticks from Todd Sucherman, Carl Palmer, Steve Gadd, Mike Portnoy, Ian Paice, Lars Ulrich, Jason Bonham, etc. given directly at the shows, it would be a big honor to have one from you!!!!!, you are a great, great drummer!!!. Tom, I know you receive a tons of fan messages like this one and you have thousand things more important than that, but in this case, please, make an exception with me!!!!!!!!, for you is only a drumstick but for me it is more like that, it is not only a souvenir from the show, it is a souvenir from you, from one of the most completes drummers that I’ve ever seen!!!, and a used stick is priceless for me!!!!. Many people collects baseball cards, autographed baseballs, or autographed rock memorabilia, me I collect memorabilia from drummers, normally direct from the shows, and I almost had one at yours, at Montreal. Tom, please say yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! an used drumstick!!!!, it takes only 2 minutes to demanding one and give it to your crew to send it to me by mail, I pay you the shipping, no problem, it is not big deal, it costs around 4 bucks, believe me, please think about it, maybe now you have one in your hands!!!!!!, for me it will be a treasure!!!!, Anyway thanks a lot to taking the time to read this, thank you for your music, your performance, I hope to see you soon again at Montreal, maybe someday at the Montreal Drumfest. People from Tom Sharpe Website, and website manager, sorry to involve you in all that, I am still working to contact Mr. Sharpe to asking directly, but I know you can help me, sure one of you can if you want, please help me to get the stick, I know you don’t have any Mr. Sharpe’s used sticks at your offices but you can really help me to giving him this message!!!!!!, please!!!!. In my case I am an ordinary and simple fan looking for a simple used drumstick from one of his music heroes, I lost one the concert day, and that’s the reason to demanding a little bit the help. All the best for this year. Muchas gracias, merci beaucoup.
Submitted by: Hilbert
Montreal, Quebec Canada
Dear Hilbert, Thank you very much for your warm and sincere message. Would it be possible for you to wait until the next time I am in Montreal? I think it would be much more meaningful if I were to give you a drum stick in person. I am sure we will be back sometime soon. Please keep looking at my performance dates, keep in touch, and I will make sure we have a chance to meet at my next time in your great city. Jusqu’à la prochaine fois, mon ami, 🙂 Tom
Will you be playing at the Akron Ohio December 18th show?? Saw you last year in Cleveland and was blown away by your spectacular performance.
Submitted by: Jim
Mentor, Ohio (12/14/2011)
Hi Jim, My troupe is on the West Coast this year, so I will miss you in Akron. Thank you for the kind words. Please keep an eye on my performance dates, as it seems like I’m in Ohio at least a few times a year, performing one way or another! 🙂 Happy Holidays! Tom
I saw you perform last night and just wanted to let you know that your talent is just amazing! I enjoyed watching you perform and being able to enjoy for a few hours of your god given talents. Thanks for sharing them with us.
Submitted by: Nancy
La Verne, CA (12/8/2011)
Thank you so much Nancy! I love performing, and I put my heart into every concert. Having an impact on the audience is very important to me. Comments like yours make it all worthwhile! 🙂 Have a Merry Christmas!
Tom, I just wanted to let you know I saw the Mannheim Steamroller concert in El Paso, and it was fabulous! I’ve been a fan for many years, and it was an awesome experience. You are such a talented musician, you really bring that show to life. I hope to see you again.
Submitted by: Sheri
La Cruces, New Mexico (12/7/2011)
Hi Sheri, Thank you so much. What a beautiful theater you have there in El Paso! I also really enjoyed walking around town during the day. Very fun! I’ll look forward to coming back, hopefully sooner than later! Take care! Tom
Tom, just got home after my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful night out listening to Mannheim Steamroller. What great entertainment!!! We will be moving to Texas in two weeks, so we are looking forward to the chance to see you in Dallas. So nice to see talent of your caliber used in this genre of music. Thank you for sharing your gift.
Submitted by: Jim
Prescott Valley, AZ (12/3/2011)
Hi Jim! I’m so glad you enjoyed the performance. Thank you very much for you comments. I appreciate it! Just so you know, it is our East Coast troupe that will be in Dallas, so I won’t see you there. My troupe (West Coast) will be in Alaska at that time. Brrrrr! 🙂 Thanks again, and Merry Christmas! Tom
Tom, thank you for an incredibly awesome performance recently in Phoenix, with the Mannheim Steamrollers – I loved watching you perform – everything was magnificent!! Great getting to meet and talk with you afterwards, too – what an honor! I meant to ask you what the little flute was you played – was it an Indian flute? Thanks for inspiring us to new heights!
Submitted by: Anne Taylor
Scottsdale, AZ (12/3/2011)
Hi Anne! Thank you so much for the kind words. The Pandora show was a blast. I had such a great time! The flute I played for “the Holly and the Ivy” is actually a soprano recorder. Yes, the same instrument that you learn in the third grade! 🙂 Mannheim Steamroller uses all kinds of recorders. While Roxanne Layton and Jeff Yang are our master recorder players on tour, I’m called upon to play the solo on that song, as well as the Christmas Lullaby. I also play an alto recorder for the piece “Carol of the Birds”. Just goes to show you that you never know what skills you learn in school will be useful later in life! 🙂 Thanks again! Tom
Tom, thanks for a great show last night! I was glad to be on hand for what Chuck said was the first in New Mexico. You are a remarkable group of musicians, and the flair and style with which you play was a lot of fun to watch. I hope to see you performing with Dennis DeYoung in the future as well.
Submitted by: Dave
Rio Rancho, New Mexico (12/2/2011)
Hi Dave! Thanks so much. We had a great time in New Mexico. I hope that you will have us back! Perhaps I will get there with Dennis this year too. Keep an eye on my performance dates page. Thanks again! Tom
I just wanted to tell you again how much I enjoyed the concert in El Paso. You’re amazing! You just got yourself a fan!
Submitted by: Stacie
El Paso, TX (11/30/2011)
Hi Stacie! Thanks for your kind words. I had fun in El Paso, and it was great to meet you! 🙂
Tom hey I’m also a drummer I think your great at showing your skills when you playing with Mannheim Steamroller. I saw you playing little drummer boy and twirling your sticks – I like that and I hope to meet you soon.
Submitted by: Jeremy
Thanks Jeremy! Glad you enjoyed the show! Keep rockin it in Maryland! 🙂 Tom
I listened to the Pandora Presents: Mannheim Steamroller on ice thing yesterday on NBC. As a drummer myself I’ve performed various MS songs at churches, etc., in the Bloomington/Normal area (two hours south of Chicagoland) over the years. I was absolutely in awe of your spectacular versatility on the drum set and all the toys. Might I also say that your consistent beat and driving tempo literally made those songs. So much better than the recordings – even the 1997 Live one – because of your driving rock beats. I would pay serious money to have those tracks on CD or digital just because of the new life you breathed into them. Hands-down the best performances of MS Christmas songs I’ve ever heard. Best of luck to you and let me know if I can buy those tracks that you played! Doug Kinzinger
Submitted by: Doug
Bloomington, IL (11/28/2011)
Hi Doug! Wow, this is an incredibly flattering note – thank you very much! The Pandora Skating/Mannheim Steamroller show was so fun, and such an honor to work with the skaters and David Archuleta. Honestly, I am not sure if this concert will be available commercially or not. I know that it will air again at some point this holiday season. I’m sure if you contacted Mannheim through the website (actually the Facebook page is probably the best way to get a response), someone would be able to tell you. BTW, I am based in Chicago. Keep an eye on my concert dates, as when I’m not on tour, I try to have something going on in the Chicagoland area when I can. Feel free to keep in touch, and all the best to you with your drumming as well! Tom
Hi Tom! I just saw you performing with Mannheim Steamroller…and you were A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!!! My breath was taken away. You were incredible, and I just wanted to thank you! I took tremendous notice to your way of playing the drums…thought a few of your tossing and such was funny! Thank you so much for a wonderful night. How did you originally learn the drums? And in ‘White Christmas’, what is the instrument used to make the sound like a choir called? Thanks again for a great time! ~Madison in Montana
Submitted by: Madison
Hi Madison in Montana! Thank you so much. I had a great time in Montana. I’m glad you enjoyed the performance, and that you had fun watching the drum stick theatrics as well. 😉 To answer your question, I took the formal route of playing the drums, with private instruction on piano and percussion from a very early age, and continued my formal education all the way to a Master of Music degree in classical percussion. I don’t regret a single minute of my education, and I hope that students are inspired and can use me as an example of what happens when you work hard and stay focused. To answer your question, the choir sound played by our illustrious percussionist Joey, is achieved with an Electronic Wind Controller, made by Yamaha. See you net time! Tom
I just wanted to say thank you for coming to my school Metea Valley to perform a few weeks ago. I think your music is really great and I didn’t get a chance to talk to you afterwards. It really meant a lot to me how you talked about how we should live our dreams and all as well. You are very talented and it was a blast watching you do what you love! 🙂
Submitted by: Shawn
Aurora, IL (11/3/2011)
Hi Shaun, Thanks so much for writing. You are fortunate to be in such a great school with all of those excellent music teachers! I’m glad you enjoyed the performance and that it meant something to you. I love playing for students your age and sharing the message that anything is possible when you are committed to what you do. All the best to you, and hopefully I’ll see you again soon! Tom
I went to St. Louis for the weekend to see Dennis DeYoung and Lou Graham and it was well worth the trip. What a line up. Your style on the drums just made the night even more special. Thank you for loving what you do.
Submitted by: Lisa
Homosassa, FL (10/3/2011)
Hi Lisa, Thank you for making such a long trip to see us! Yes, I absolutely love performing and putting on a great show for the audience every time. Entertaining and inspiring others is what makes my love for music even stronger! Thanks so much! Tom
Are you touring with Mannheim this year? If so I am praying you are touring with the East Coast again! It would be wonderful to hear you play again, I have been looking forward to it since last year!
Submitted by: Bernadette
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (9/26/2011)
Hi Bernadette, Thank you so much for writing and your kind words. This year in Mannheim, my troupe (the Red tour) heads west, so I will miss you in Ohio. Please keep an eye on my tour dates in 2012 and let me know if I am near you with any of my groups. Have a great holiday season, and I hope to see you soon. 🙂 Tom
I was only able to catch a few of your pieces today due to children that were tired and needing to go (I was the woman w the blue walker if you saw me). Your music blew me away though and I will try to catch you again for a full performance as soon as opportunity presents. I live in st Charles and caught the performance by chance… Would really like to purchase your cd!
Submitted by: Jackie
St. Charles, IL (9/18/2011)
Jackie, I did see you. Thanks for coming and for the kind words! The best way to order my CD is directly through my website (I will autograph), but it is also available at itunes. Please keep an eye on my website for upcoming shows. Thanks again! 🙂
Hey Tom, It’s Keith. I saw you perform at the church and came up to you during the intermission and after the show to talk. I just want to say again that your show was amazing and you are a ridiculously great musician. I will never look at another tambourine the same way. I hope your trip back to Chicago (or onto the next show) was a safe one. Thanks again, Keith
Submitted by: Keith
Phoenixville, PA (9/16/2011)
Hi Keith, Thank you so much. I enjoyed meeting you and your Dad. Best wishes to you in your last year of school and beyond! Tom
Dear Tom, Thank you for a wonderful concert last Sunday at St. John’s! Your music, your performance and your kindness were all deeply appreciated. I hope you had a good drive home. Blessings, Pr. Cindy
Submitted by: Cynthia
Phoenixville, PA (9/14/2011)
Dear Pastor Cindy, It was my pleasure! Thank you for hosting me, and your wonderful hospitality. I am glad I had the chance to meet you and bring my music to Phoenixville! Take care and I hope to see you again soon. Tom
Hi Tom, I really enjoyed seeing/hearing you play at St. John’s Church this past Sunday. It was a great show, and you were amazing on so many instruments! But I was especially impressed by your tambourine solo – that was great! I once saw Max Roach do his famous hi-hat solo at a concert in Philly, and I think your tambourine solo ranks right up there with the top ten percussion solo’s I have ever seen. I enjoyed talking with you at the break – I was the guy who said Dave Brubeck would be proud of your time signatures, then I guessed incorrectly that one of your pieces was in 10/4 time (you mentioned that it was alternate 6/4 and 5/4). Thanks again, and we’re hoping to see you on Nov. 4th at Harrah’s in Chester, PA
Submitted by: Phil
Phonexville, PA (9/13/2011)
Hi Phil, Thanks so much! I had a great time bringing my music out east and performing for you. Thank you so much for the high praise for my tambourine solo. I don’t deserve it, but I’ll take it! 😉 Hope to see you again soon! Let me know if you are at Harrah’s so we can say hello again. Tom
Tom, I finally have the opportunity to tell you how great it was to see you play in person – and SOLO – in South Haven, MI. You are a very talented and blessed musician – just absolutly amazing. I was entertained. I was in awe at what you can do. Thank you for a great show. I look forward to your new CD – in January, I hope. God bless and take care. Hope to see you again next year.
Submitted by: Wendy
Mishawaka, IN (8/31/2011)
Hi Wendy! Thanks so much. I had a great time in South Haven and hopefully we can make it an annual event with my ensemble. It was great to meet you! Thank you for making the trip from Indiana!
“It was so much fun listening to you at the barn in Charlevoix. Thanks for being a part of a magical evening for our little family! We look forward to next year.”
Submitted by: Catie
Charlevoix, MI (8/23/2011)
Hi Catie! It was my pleasure. I’m glad you enjoyed the show. I will be back! 🙂 Tom
Enjoyed the show on Sunday. Love that you stand up and let us all get a look at you. Drummers are always hidden in the background.
Submitted by: Marie
Rockford, IL (6/22/2011)
Thank you Marie! It was a great cause, playing in Millennium park for the Veteran’s. What an honor. I’m glad you enjoyed the show
Hey Tom, we attended the Dennis Deyoung show in Indianapolis on March 31, 2011 with our two young girls (ages 11 and 8). After the show, you came down and handed both of them your drum sticks. Later you came out and autographed them. As a father I would like to thank you. To this day they are still talking about that and are proudly displaying the drum sticks in their rooms. It was a great show and as always you played great. We are coming to the show in Oshkosh on 06/16/2011 with the girls and hope to see you. Again thank you so much, it meant the world to them.
Submitted by: Tom
Manitowoc, WI (6/11/2011)
Hi Tom, It was my pleasure. I was impressed that your girls were able to sing along to all the songs! 🙂 I love to work with and inspire kids, whether it’s through one of my school clinics, or at a concert where I can do a little something extra. I’m happy that it stuck with them, and I look forward to seeing you in Wisconsin! See you soon, Tom
Hi Tom, it was great to meet you last night at the InspirEd Concert. I was absolutely enchanted with your music. I enjoyed it so much and wished that you would have performed longer. I love seeing young musicians get to experience what they did last night. What an incredible opportunity you give to kids! What a gift you have been given. I hope that you do more workshops in our area in the future. Thank you again for allowing our small town to experience such amazing talent.
Submitted by: Michelle
Oswego, IL (4/30/2011)
Hi Michelle, Thank you so much. I had a great time at the concert and working with the students the past few weeks. There is some remarkable talent in the #308 school district and I am glad that I was able to inspire them even further. Hope to see you again! Tom
Great performance last night at InspirEd Tom! Liked the ‘bells on the feet!’ Loved the percussion!!
Submitted by: Roxanne
Thank you! The students at OEHS and OHS were great!!
Tom… we saw you in Milwaukee!!! It was an awesome show by the way. We had so much fun that night. The whole Pabst Theater went wild from start to end of the show. You are such an amazing drummer! Definitely, you made me into a huge fan of yours. Looking forward to see more of your shows.
Submitted by: Myla
Milwaukee, WI (4/7/2011)
Thanks so much Myla! We had a great time in Milwaukee. I hope to see you again soon! Tom
Just saw you for the first time in Lincolnshire. Wow. You are amazing. You just made me into a fan. I mean Dennis was great, but your percussion talent is just phenomenal.
Submitted by: Marie
Chicago, IL (4/2/2011)
Hi Marie! Thanks so much for such nice compliments. It is fun to do the unplugged concert with Dennis, as it gives me the opportunity to play a lot of different percussion instruments. I’m glad you enjoyed it and I hope to see you again soon! Tom
I had the opportunity of my life to see you in palatine ,Illinois on feb 6th. You re-energized my passions as a percussionist.I was the long haired hippy with my eyes shut..Ill never be the same.thank you.David
Submitted by: David
Palatine, IL (3/7/2011)
Hi David! Thanks so much for writing and for your kindness. I love knowing when I’ve inspired someone to get back playing. Keep in touch and let me know how your drumming is going. Hope to see you again! Tom
Hello- The concert was amazing. I wrote a long paper on the entire performance for a college music class assignment. Thank you so much for such an amazing experience. God bless you, Ellery
Submitted by: Ellery
Addison, IL (2/8/2011)
Hi Ellery, Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed my concert in Palatine. I would love to read your paper sometime. All the best! Tom
u guys were great when is the new album coming out tom
Submitted by: Madelyn
Thank you Madelyn! I’m glad you enjoyed my concert in Palatine. If all goes as planned it will be out this year!
We are not sure that you remember us, but we met you at the back of the Fort Wayne Theater in December just before you entered your bus. We had our picture taken with you after the show. You gave us you personal email address in which we could write to you, but I have mislaid it. We want to thank you and the others from the group for putting on such a GREAT program. Your type of music is very inspiring and we loved your performance on the drums. If you would be willing to email us you email address, we would love to send you the picture taken in the lobby of you, Jan and me. Thank you and hope that you and the group will be performing in our area again this coming year. Regards, Bob & Jan
Submitted by: Bob and Jan
Ft Wayne, IN (1/20/2011)
Hi Bob and Jan! Yes, of course I remember you! 🙂 Thank you for the compliments. I’m glad we were able to meet by the tour bus and have a chat. I have e-mailed you my address, and yes, I would love to see the picture. Please keep in touch, either here or on my website. Hope to see you again! Tom
Hi Tom! just want to tell you how amazing you are behind the drums, you make it look so easy…….Thank you so much for sharing your god given talent with the world. My question to you is……. What is it like working and playing for Dennis De Young? I saw Dennis in 2005 at the Cerritos Performing Art Center in Cerritos Ca.at that time Kyle was drumming for him. Kyle would be proud of you. Will you be in the L.A. area soon? Best wishes with all your endeavors, Michael Manriquez – Lakewood, CA.
Submitted by: Michael
Lakewood, CA (1/15/2011)
Hi Michael, Thanks so much for writing and for the kind words. Kyle was such a great guy, and we all miss him so much. Working with Dennis is great. He is such an amazing talent, funny, and caring. He really looks out for his band, which we appreciate so much. Yes, actually we will be in California quite a bit coming up. Please have a look at my performance dates, or check out a detailed listing at www.dennisdeyoung.com. Hope to see you soon! Tom
Saw you perform with Mannheim Steamroller on 12/6/10 in Johnstown, PA…..absolutely loved it. You are sensational!! Thank you for making my Christmas season extra special this year! Please come back to Johnstown, PA next year. Have a wonderful New Year!!!
Submitted by: Karin
Johnstown, PA (12/30/2010)
Hi Karin, Thanks so much! We would love to come back to Johnstown. Hope to see you again soon! Tom
I pray you had a great show in Kentucky and a pleasant Christmas celebration! Hopefully you didn’t need my Kentucky Colonel card while you were traveling through the Bluegrass State! Thank you again for taking the time after the Columbus show to visit with me. I truly enjoyed the show and am awed by your talent – even moreso after visiting your website! Godspeed in your travels and I look forward to seeing you and Mannheim Steamroller at your next concert!
Submitted by: Rob
Columbus, OH (12/28/2010)
Hi Rob! Great meeting you in Columbus. Yes, we made it to and through Kentucky without incident! 🙂 Thank you for the compliments. Looking forward to seeing you again! Tom
Tom, I was at the Mannheim Steamroller concert at the Embassy Theater in Fort Wayne. I was totally impressed with not only your technically proficiency but your engaging performance. You were without a doubt the star of the show and I want you to know I thoroughly enjoyed watching you perform. Thanks for your dedication to your instruments and your wonderful performance style. PS I am friends with Michael and Julie Harstine…I teach with Michael. Sincerely, Mark
Submitted by: Mark
Warsaw, IN (12/28/2010)
Hi Mark, It was really great to see Julie again and to meet her family. Please tell Michael hello for me! Thanks so much for the compliments. I pour my heart into every single concert I give, and it’s always nice to hear when it has made an impression. All the best to you! Tom
Tom, I don’t actually have a question, but more a compliment. My mother and I always enjoy the holiday season because we are two of the biggest Christmas buffs in the family. We get together throughout the entire holiday season, no matter where my job takes me, beginning with Thanksgiving. Amid the chopping, baking, and stuffing, usually comes a bottle of wine or two and come midnight we finally win the “let’s fire up the Christmas music” battle. Amongst our very large collection is every Mannheim Steamroller cd… Christmas Extraordinaire being the first one played each year. About five years ago we went to our first concert, my mother, my sister, and I and have been hooked ever since. This year, we all went home to Dallas and took my Grandmother and my two nieces as well. What a great show!! I’ve always seen the West Coast Cast and never the East Coast Cast… But you guys are incredible!! I was a member of the Toast of Tampa, part of Sweet Adelines International, and have always been hooked to musicians who are animated in their musicality. The entire show was fantastic, but both you and Jeff were amazing to watch. I immediately left the show to pull your biography and had no idea about the extensive background you had. We were all equally surprised to read about Styx. Really cool… Anyway, I know you must get hundreds of these a day, I just wanted to say thanks for the great show! I will definitely stay tuned for future performances near Miami, Fla!
Submitted by: Jamie
Dallas, TX (12/27/2010)
Thanks so much for sharing your Christmas story with me, and for the compliments. I shared your message with Jeff as well! We love performing in Dallas. It is becoming a tradition for us to have our concerts at the Meyerson right after Christmas, and I hope it continues. We will look forward to seeing you in Miami as well. Regarding Dennis DeYoung and the Music of STYX, please keep an eye on my performance dates page. I will always put all my concerts on there with any of my groups. Take care! Tom
I just attended the Christmas concert last nite in Milwaukee along with my husband, my son and good friends (my daughter-in-law was at home with the flu–she would have loved it). It was wonderful—most of the time our eyes were glued to watching you perform . We were just mesmerized. By the way, from up in the balcony, I thought you were maybe 25 years old. Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas show is one everyone should see at least once if not more (except for my grandson who is 4 and doesn’t like loud noises). We’ll have to wait til he gets a little older. I plan on taking my entire family (including grandchildren) in a couple of years (when the little ones are old enough). Thanks again for a wonderful evening!
Submitted by: Jane
Mount Cavalry, WI (12/24/2010)
Thanks so much for the compliments! We had a great time in Milwaukee. It is always great to hear when people recognize how timeless the music of Mannheim Steamroller is, and to see it passed down from generation to generation. I look forward to performing for you, your children, and grandchildren for many years to come! All the best, Tom
I don’t have a question. We saw the Mannheim Steamroller show last night (12/22/10) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was fantastic and the best $30 we ever spent. Although we were in the nose bleed section, we were directly in front of the stage and saw and heard everything beautifully. The time went fast. The videos and music beyond words. You were so great on the drums that I got tired watching you! The entire group is very, very talented. Thanks to you and all involved. It was an enjoyable evening that we and our bible class really, really loved.
Submitted by: Robin
Greenfield, WI (12/23/2010)
Thanks so much for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the concert! Sometimes being up in the balcony is good so that you have the opportunity to take everything in! We love being in Milwaukee and hope to be back very soon! Take care, Tom
I just came from the concert tonight at the Palace Theatre and I must say I was in awe. I got my dad tickets for Christmas because he has always loved the music, but I think I loved it more than he did. Your performance turned being just another drummer into an artform. I was mesmerized! Definitely made the show for me. Any plans for touring with other bands in the near future?
Submitted by: Brittani
Columbus, OH (12/20/2010)
Hi Brittani, Thank you so very much. What a nice thing to say and a great way of putting it. I am flattered. To answer your question, yes, along with Mannheim Steamroller, I also tour with Dennis DeYoung, as well as my own group Sharpe World Music. I’m always on the go, so please keep an eye on my performance dates for something else near you in 2011. Have a Merry Christmas! Tom
Saw the Cleveland show last night and loved your performance. I’m 70 and I have joked that “I’d like to be a drummer in a rock and roll band”- but now I have to say “I’d like to be a drummer with the Mannheim Steamroller”. You looked like you were having the most fun and working the hardest . You are amazing!
Submitted by: Jim
Mentor, OH (12/19/2010)
Hi Jim! Thanks so much for writing. I’m glad I inspired you! It is never too late, so pick up those sticks and start making beautiful music to share with the world! I hope to see you next time! Happy Holidays! Tom
Hi Tom! My mother and I saw you in Cleveland last night and I have to say, you made the show. Thank you for also allowing me to take a picture with you! You are very handsome, and amazingly talented. Are you working on any new projects? When will we get to hear more of you? Thank you again, and have a safe and wonderful holiday season!
Submitted by: Bernadette
Cuyahoga Falls, OH (12/19/2010)
Hi Bernadette! Thank you so much for all the wonderful and flattering compliments! I’m glad you enjoyed the concert. We had a great time in Cleveland. Cleveland Rocks! 😉 To answer your question, yes I do have a project that I’m working on. My second CD will be out in 2011. So, along with my tour dates with Dennis DeYoung and Mannheim Steamroller, please keep an eye out for my release and tour dates with my own band, Sharpe World Music. Thanks again. Happy Holidays to you too! Tom
Hi, Tom. I went to the Mannheim Steamroller concert a few days ago in Fort Wayne. I wanted to say that you were one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen in concert. I didn’t hear a single mistake. I’m currently writing a paper for school about music careers. I was wondering if I could ask you some questions via email. Thanks and you rock!
Submitted by: Amanda
Ft. Wayne, IN (12/18/2010)
Hi Amanda, Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed the concert and thank you for the nice compliment! Yes, I am happy to answer questions for your paper. I’ve sent you my e-mail address so you can get in touch with me there. Merry Christmas!
The concert was awesome! Thanks for all the cool tours and especially the autographed drumsticks! They are so cool! It was great watching you and the others play! The lights, special effects, and music were so cool! We bought two of your CDs and after one day have listened to them several times! I really liked all the little percussion things and your toy piano fit right in really well! It was just an amazing experience for me! Thank you so much! Your biggest fan, Jonathan Harstine.
Submitted by: Jonathan
Winona Lake, IN (12/18/2010)
Hi Jonathan! You are very welcome. I’m very glad you enjoyed the concert and it was really nice to meet you! Good luck with all of your musical endeavors. Practice practice practice! 🙂 Tom
Tom,my mom and I saw you play last night with Mannheim steamroller in South Bend Indiana.You are an incredible drummer,and I think made the show.Not to mention you are very good looking.lol.Do you have any music in stores or is this the only place to find them.I am very interested in checking out your music.Thanks again for that awesome performance it was a show I’ll never forget for sure!
Submitted by: Debra
Cassopolis, MI (12/18/2010)
Hi Debra! In regards to your first compliment, thank you so much. I’m glad you liked my playing! In regards to your second compliment, I say “Aw, shucks”. 😉 Thanks again. My music is available in some stores. Best Buy sometimes has it, as well as Borders. However, CD distribution isn’t what it used to be. You might have a hard time. The best and easiest way is to simply order through my website. That way you can get a signed copy too! 🙂 Thanks again and take care! Tom
I liked your concert. I thought is what amazing. One of my favorite parts of the tour was the hallway where you sleep. It looked like a submarine. I also liked the list on the bus to get anything you want. I didn’t know there were things like electric drums, electric violins, and electric clarinets. Now that I have heard of them I think they are spectacular. Thank you for the signed drumstick. The music was amazing!
Submitted by: Annalise
Winona Lake, IN (12/18/2010)
Hi Annalise! I’m glad you enjoyed the concert and the tour of the bus and stage. Yes, technology is pretty amazing! Of course, electronics should never really fully take the place of acoustic instruments, but when you blend both acoustic and electronics like we do in Mannheim, the are very effective and open the door to a lot of possibilities! Take care and have a Merry Christmas!
Not a question, just wanted to thank you for an amazing performance with Mannheim Steamroller in Wabash last evening. Even my 86 year-old Dad who saw a lot of big bands in the 40’s and isn’t easily impressed remarked as we were leaving “I think that drummer would have put Gene Krupa to shame”. It was a great show with excellent musicians –thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end.
Submitted by: Darrell
Marion, IN (12/18/2010)
Hi Darrell, Thank you so much. I hope that I am lucky enough to still be making memories with my Dad when he is 86! I’m glad you and your Dad enjoyed the concert. Please tell him that I am flattered and humbled to even be mentioned in the same sentence as a drumming legend like Gene Krupa. What a compliment! Thanks again, and Merry Christmas! Tom
My mom and I saw Mannheim Steamroller in South Bend, Indiana last night! Amazing! I have never seen a more gifted and talented group of performers in my life! Your drumming abilities were amazing and how in the world you twirl the drumsticks is beyond me! Amazing performance!
Submitted by: Abby
Buchanan, MI (12/17/2010)
Thanks so much Abby! We had a great time in South Bend. Hope to see you again soon! Tom
Hi Tom! I came to the Mannheim Steamroller concert in Pittsburgh and I loved watching you play, I am a drummer too and it is always so cool to watch someone who really knows what they are doing play. By the way, how do you twirl your sticks so fast? Sorry it’s a silly question but I can never get my stick to twirl so fast. Please come back to Pittsburgh soon!
Submitted by: Emma
Pittsburgh, PA (12/15/2010)
Thanks so much for writing to me. I’m glad you enjoyed the concert in Pittsburgh. I always love walking around the city, and of course going to Primanti Bros for lunch! Ha ha, your question is cute. Honestly, it’s like anything else – just keep practicing. Of course there are better things to be working on than stick twirls, but for what I do, showmanship and musicianship go hand in hand, so I work on everything from technique to musicality to stage presence. Take care and I hope to see you again next time! Tom
Saw the show last night in Athens. You are one talented guy. What an incredible gift you have and I see you take the time to encourage children musically. Keep it up. I hope I get to see the show again. How many instruments did you play? Next time I’m bringing my binoculars.
Submitted by: Priscilla
Athens, GA (11/24/2010)
Hi Priscilla, Thank you so much for writing and for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the show! Yes, when I am not on tour I do as much as I can inspire and motive students of all ages. To answer your question, I play percussion, piano, and recorders. The percussion family is so vast, though, that it is a never ending learning endeavor. As with any instrument, there is always something more to discover. That is what makes music so great. You will never come close to knowing it all. Thanks again, and take care. Tom
I surprised my husband with tickets to Mannheim in Augusta & kept the secret for about 4 mos! We both thoroughly enjoyed the concert, especially you! What talent!! The visuals were cool, but I MUCH preferred watching everyone play. You were absolutely incredible to watch — so precise and really feeling the music! We were exhausted watching you, and then to think you had to do it all again that evening! Love you all and hope to see you in Augusta next year!!
Submitted by: Kay
Augusta, GA (11/23/2010)
Hi Kay! Thanks so much for writing and for the kind words. We had a great time in Augusta. We will be back! Take care, Tom
I attended the Mannheim Steamroller Concert last night in Augusta. It was amazing! It was so cool to watch your drumming skills. I do have a question about one of the instruments you used at one point. I can’t remember which song it was for, but your brought out….what kind of sounded like maracas or something. You were shaking them and sort of tapping them against your chest. It sounded really neat, but I wasn’t sure what they were. Again, great job! I really hope I’ll be able to see y’all again!
Submitted by: Sarah
Leesville, South Carolina (11/21/2010)
Hi Sarah! Thank you for writing and for the compliments! I’m glad you enjoyed our performance in Augusta. You are referring to the Castanets. Castanets are played in many different ways, and are often used by dancers. I use them in the more orchestral style. Playing them on my chest is partly for the visual, and partly to get them closer to one of the microphones positioned on my drum rack. Thanks again! Tom
We saw you in Charlotte last night… FANTASTIC!!
Submitted by: Schuyler
Charlotte, NC (11/21/2010)
Thank you Schuyler!
Augusta, 8:00pm, Section3, Row B, Seat 3…WOW!
Submitted by: Courney
Augusta, GA (11/20/2010)
Thanks so much, Courtney!
No question, just a comment. I was given tickets to come to the show, and I didn’t know what to expect. You all were amazing! I have to tell you you’re the sexiest man I’ve seen in a long time. 🙂 Thanks for playing Naples
Submitted by: Gina
Naples, FL (11/15/2010)
(blushing) Thank you for the compliments, Gina!
You stole the show tonight in St.Pete!
Submitted by: Sarah
St. Petersburg, FL (11/13/2010)
Aw, thank you Sarah!
Tom – fellow native Michigander… again, AMAZING performance last night in The D. You and the DDY band are fantastic. I enjoyed it more than a few typed words can say. Just wanted to be sure that you knew how much we loved every moment. Hope to see you live on stage in the near future.
Submitted by: Lisa
Clarkston, MI (7/17/2010)
Hi Lisa! It is always great to get back to Detroit! We really enjoyed the Motor City Casino and you were a great audience. Thanks, and I hope to see you again soon! Tom
I was one of the people in the audience when you performed for Manteno Middle School, and I would just like to thank you for coming. You did a great job explaining things and performing your unique music. I really appreciated the dedicated time and effort, and would like to see you perform again sometime. I personally have heard of Mannheim Steamroller and have a CD… though I don’t quite remember where I got it, I listen to it frequently for ideas on my own music.
Submitted by: Nathan
Manteno, IL (5/22/2010)
Hi Nathan, Thanks so much for writing and for the compliments. I had fun coming and performing for you! Good luck with your own music, and hopefully I will get to hear YOU perform someday!
Hi tom its me collin from Manteno Middle School. I loved your performance that you gave us. I was in 5th grade. I liked how you spun the drum that was really cool. Did you really go on tour with Styx?
Submitted by: Colin
Manteno, IL (5/20/2010)
Hi Colin, Thank you for the nice compliments. I’m glad you enjoyed the performance. To answer your question, I play drum set in Dennis DeYoung’s band. Dennis wrote, sang, and played keyboards for most of STYX’s big hits – Mr. Roboto, Come Sail Away, The Best of Times, etc, and we still play all the STYX hits live in concert! Maybe I’ll see you there sometime!
Hey Tom, you rocked at our school on May 19. I was really inspired and went home and started to mess around with garage band and made some kool tunes. Thacks for doing everything you do and keep it up. I was wondering was that how long have you traveled the states and how was touring with a bunch of famous bands?
Submitted by: Lucas
Manteno, IL (5/20/2010)
Hi Lucas, Thanks so much for your note and the compliments. I have been touring the country since about 2002. And to answer your question about how is it to play with famous bands – guess what? It’s great! 🙂 It is a lot of fun, and the greatest part is being able to do what I love for a living and share that passion with large audiences. Nothing means more to me than when someone tells me that one of my performances has inspired them!
Hey Tom i was at your preformance today and i thought it was AMAZING! I have a question for you. How long did it take you to learn how play all of the instruments?
Submitted by: Ryan
Manteno, IL (5/19/2010)
Hi Ryan! Thanks for the nice compliment! To answer your question, I will let you know when I have learned them all. Ha ha. Truly though, you never stop learning. That is what is great about music. There is always something new and cool right around the corner!
Thanks for that amazing perforrmance while you were speaking about finding your dream and sticking to it. I thought that I should start to follow mine I love drumming as well as you. I will probably never be as good, but I will try captivating the music and understanding why you played the cultural music you did. It was an inspiration to me to keep moving forward with that goal. I just want to say thanks for doing all you did today. You have a true gift keep it up.
Submitted by: Joe
Manteno, IL (5/19/2010)
Thank you so much Joe! I wish you all the best in your musical endeavors!
Hey Tom! I really enjoyed your performance at my school (Manteno Middle School) this afternoon. I too have a passion in music and play a couple of instruments myself. It really inspired me, how amazing you played and lived out your deam, as i wish to. I have a quick question for you, How Did You Get Discovered? PS. my friends and i wanted to thank you for the autographs. Thanks (:
Submitted by: Alyssa
Manteno, IL (5/19/2010)
Hi Alyssa! Thank you for your question and for the nice comments. I do not think that there was any one thing I can point to that got me “discovered”. More so, it is simply performing and being in the public eye enough so that when opportunities arise, you are on a short list of people that are being considered. From there, it is still the old fashion way of practice, practice, practice, and be the one person that is more prepared than anyone else. I believe these days that you have to create your own chances and not sit around waiting for someone to come and discover you. If you want it, go get it!!!
Hi Tom, I was at your performance Sunday 4/25 at the Lisle public library. I was impressed. I enjoyed every minute you and your group played. I especially enjoyed . “Lifting the World”. Is there other places in this area where you and your group will be playing? How long have you been performing with these three other people? I thought the timing was quite well. Please take the time to answer my questions. I would like to hear you perform again soon. Thank you for a very enjoyable time. Dave
Submitted by: Dave
Lisle, IL (4/28/2010)
Hi Dave, Thanks for writing. I’m glad you enjoyed the concert. It is sometimes nice to play in a small room where the audience can get right up close to the action. Thank you for commenting on Lifting the World. That will be on the next album! To answer your question about the group, Jennifer has been with me since 2005, Amanda joined in 2006, and Jeff in 2007. Please keep an eye on my website for concerts near you. Along with my travels, I always like to have something going on in the Chicagoland area. Thanks again! Tom
Just wanted to say that I saw Mannheim Steamrollers in Cedar Falls, IA on 12-18-09 and you all were awesome. I was mesmerized by you and your musical abilities. You were GREAT!!!! 🙂
Submitted by: Ava
Waterloo, IA (12/21/2009)
Thank you Ava!
Just wanted to shoot you a message to say I enjoyed the show in Appleton this afternoon…but your drumming was phenominal. The drums made the whole show for me to be honest!
Submitted by: Julie
Green Bay, WI (12/20/2009)
Thank you Julie! 🙂
Tom, saw the show last night with Mannheim at the Walton Arts Center and I gotta tell ya I was blown away. As a drummer, I tend to watch that part of the band the most and I wanted to comment on your cymbal work…well among other things haha. I have always enjoyed working strictly from cymbal to cymbal and I don’t see many drummers who do it. You were a marvelous technician and I hope to incorporate some of your techniques into my playing. Thanks again for a great show.
Submitted by: Steve
Fayetteville, AK (12/17/2009)
Steve, thank you so much. It’s always great to hear from a fellow percussionist! I’m glad to know I’ve given you some ideas to try on your own. Best wishes to you in all your musical endeavors! Tom
Tom, I am sure you are getting a lot of these emails, but I have to add mine. I saw you in Detroit with Mannheim Steamroller on Friday, 11/27 at the Fox Theater. You blew the place up!!!! Everyone in my party of 5 could not take our eyes off of you. You definitely brought an extra dimension to the music, which I never really heard on the records. You were EXCELLENT. Great job. Come back and play for us some more!!!! Thanks for a GREAT CONCERT EVENING. I have been humming ever since.
Submitted by: Mary Ann
Detroit, MI (11/30/2009)
Hi Mary Ann, Thank you for such wonderful compliments! The Fox Theater was beautiful and I had a great time. I would love to come back, and I hope to see you again next year. 🙂 Tom
We enjoyed the performance last night at the Fox. It is always good to see when a “local boy makes good.” I’m from Romeo, too. My mom worked in the Romeo Library and my dad taught at Amanda Moore School, too. My family was up in the “oxygen seats” of the gallery cheering very loudly when your name was announced.
Submitted by: Chris
Detroit, MI (11/28/2009)
Hi Chris! Thank you very much. I’m very proud to be a native Michigander, and happy to return to Detroit and spread even the tiniest joy to a city that desperately needs some love right now. Though I live in Chicago now, my heart is always with the Motor City.
Hey Tom, Fantastic show at Detroit’s Fox Theater tonight (11/27/09)!!!! Interestingly I saw you last year when Mannheim Steamroller performed at Masonic Temple Theater. You and the guys showed your true professionalism in keeping the concert fresh and entertaining. As a former performer myself I know the challenge that is. Which inspires you most the newness of each audience or the vibe you get from it’s response to the performace? Hope to see you guys next year.
Submitted by: Rob
Roseville, MI (11/28/2009)
Hey Rob! Thanks for writing. I’m glad you enjoyed the show at the FOX (what a gorgeous theater), and thank you for your continued support of our tours! Every concert for me is exciting, partially because I love to play, and partially because I know I have the opportunity to reach a new audience every night. Every single person deserves my very best performance. Whether I am playing to 10 people or 10 thousand, I know that those people came to see a great show, and I owe them everything I have. So to answer your question, it’s a combination! The challenge is not to get ahead of yourself – to be in the exact musical moment, to focus not just on playing a great concert, but playing the current song, even the current phrase, even the next note, the best you possibly can. That is how to keep things fresh every night – to always strive for that perfection. Thanks again, and I hope to see you next time! Tom
Hey Tom! I saw you tonight in DC for the Mannheim Steamroller concert. I was just completely blown away! You were definitely my favorite by far. You are such a natural performer and a brilliant musician. Thanks for making the concert even more amazing than I thought was possible! -Suzie
Submitted by: Suzie
Manassas, Virginia (11/25/2009)
Hi Suzie! Thank you very much. I really enjoyed the Warner Theater in Washington D.C., and it was great to have such wonderful audiences both nights! Thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you liked the concert. See you next time! Tom
Hey, Tom! Just saw you and Mannheim Steamroller in Nashville Saturday night, and YOU were the best! Thanks for making the performance so enjoyable and entertaining! I’m thinking you need to play with Yanni too and travel the world with him. Keep up the great beats, and return to Music City USA anytime! We love you!
Submitted by: Becky
Nashville, TN (11/23/2009)
Hi Becky, Nashville was great. We had a lot of fun there! Thank you for the kind words. I’ll look forward to returning to Nashville sometime soon. Please keep an eye on my performance dates! Tom
Hi Tom! I just saw the Mannheim Steamroller concert last night, and you guys were awesome. You were my favorite though. Thank you for telling me about your website, and taking a picture with me. I really enjoyed it, can’t wait to see you again. I was just wondering how you learned to do all that you do. If you could write back i would appreciate it.
Submitted by: Carrie
Adairsville, Georgia (11/21/2009)
Hi Carrie, Thanks so much. We loved playing in Nashville and were grateful for such a wonderful audience. To answer your question, the way you see me play is a combination of many years of training and education combined with adding my own creative flare to the performance. When I perform other people’s music like I do with Mannheim Steamroller, it is always a challenge to be able to bring something new to the concert, while maintaining the signature sounds that the composer intended. But, regardless of if I’m performing someone else’s pieces or my own, I always play with passion and enthusiasm because it is what I love doing! Hope to see you next time!
Hi!!! I just saw ur Mannheim Steamroller Concert in Hershey!! You are REALLY awesomeeee! Actually my name is Kryssa not Kris I just go by that, but do you remember me? I was the girl who got a picture with you and we were the last people out and I didnt smile the first time!!! I saw you last year and I really liked it! Now i want to become a percussionist! I am like your #1 FAN!!! I really wish you could come to Blackwood, NJ and to Charles W Lewis!!!>>>
Submitted by: Kris
Hi Kryssa, we had a great time at the Hershey Theatre. I’m glad you enjoyed the concert! Wow, 4 e’s awesome? You must have really liked it! 🙂 I hope to come to Blackwood NJ too. Please keep checking my performance dates for future concerts. Thanks Kryssa!
Tom, you performed at the school where I teach several years ago. I subsequently bought your album and spent a lot of time listening to it for the first several months or more. It inspired me to search for more incredible compositions like yours. I write to tell you that a movie I saw this week ignited the memory of your music in my head and it had me searching all over my house for your CD. I finally had time to rifle through my CD racks, etc, and found it tonight. Love the way your music focuses my mind. Highly recommend you see, “Broken Hill,” a movie that received some awards for the International Children’s Film Festival. Definitely a movie for young composers. Hope to see you perform in the Chicago area again some time.
Submitted by: Jane
Hi Jane, Thanks so much for writing. I’m glad my music has made an impact on you! I will check out Broken Hill and I’m always interested in hearing new composers. Thanks for the tip! I hope to see you at a concert again soon. All the best! Tom
Je suis tellement content de t’avoir rencontré à Chicago. J’espère te revoir bientôt et j’espère que tu viendras à Québec avec Dennis l’an prochain. Ça serait trop cool!! Samuel
Submitted by: Samuel
Hi Samuel! So nice to hear from you. I enjoyed meeting you as well and I’m sure I will see you again in Québec City. Dennis loves his fans there. We will be back! All the best, Tom
Hey Tom! You played an Awesome show in Praire du Sac, WI… but that’s no suprise because you’re an Amazing drummer… I won’t see you in a looong time. Probably next year, but I can’t wait!…
Submitted by: Steph
Pittsville, WI (9/8/2009)
Hi Steph! Thanks for writing to me. It was great to see you in Wisconsin. Have a great winter and I’ll see you next year, if not before! 🙂 Tom
Hi Tom, I was at the Dennis Deyoung concert last night at DTE Energy and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your performance. I’m a drummer has-been/wanna be, in other words I gave everything up 20 years ago to support my family. I won a kit from Maxim that was painted by Prairie Prince. Meeting him and hearing performances like yours is the type of inspiration I need. Thank you David McGraw
Submitted by: David McGraw
Livonia, Michigan (8/29/2009)
Hi David! Thank you so much for your letter. I grew up in Michigan, and coming back to perform at the DTE Energy Center (Pine Knob) was very special for me. I’m glad you enjoyed the concert! Congratulations on winning a drumkit! If that isn’t the universe telling you to get back to playing, I don’t know what is! I hope to see you again soon. All the best! Tom
Thanks again for sharing your wonderful music at Northbrook School. It was fantastic! I shared your CD with my parents and a friend of ours. They all loved it. I hope to be able to bring them to see and hear you play. You are a very talented musician! Hope to see you soon!
Submitted by: Jeanine
Mendota, IL (7/7/2009)
Dear Jeanine, Thank you so much. I’m glad you have enjoyed the CD as well as the live performance. I had a great time coming to Mendota and sharing my music with you! All the best, Tom
Hey Tom, I heard your music at my school assembley and was wondering why you chose to do music like that? Why not just drums or why not a single instrument?
Submitted by: Kiarra
Hi Kiarra, I believe that the music I shared with you at your school is one of my purposes in life. When you are a composer, you tend to think of music more as a whole, rather than just the part you play yourself. The inspiration to take that a step further and play as many instruments as I can at one time came from my desire to create something original and inspiring to others. In other groups I play with, I DO only play one instrument, like drums. But for my own music, performing on multiple instruments at the same time is part of what makes what I do special and unique.
Were u ever on tv before?
Submitted by: Jada
Hi Jada, Yes, I’ve been on TV several times. I was on a PBS Special (there is a link to it on my homepage), and WGN TV. I was also on Nightline with Mannheim Steamroller, and on A+E with Dennis DeYoung that will air sometime this summer. Thanks for your question! Tom
Thank you for coming to ccis. It was so awesome I hope you can come next year
Submitted by: Colin
Hi Colin, I would love to come back. Hopefully I’ll see you again next time!
Do you ever sing in your songs? You ROCKED when you came to my school! I hope you come next year. Thanks for reading this!
Submitted by: Macey
Hi Macey! Thanks for your compliment! I personally don’t sing in my music, but many of my pieces do have vocals, and sometimes I will have a vocalist or choir sing with me at a concert.
Hey Tom, I just wanted to let you know that my daughter, son and I loved your music yesterday in Coal City! My daughter and I are the HUGE Styx groupies. Not only are we Styx fans now, but Tom Sharpe fans as well. We will be looking for your new CD-loved the new song off of it! Thanks so much for coming to the great corn desert! Good luck! Hope to see you again soon! Angie
Submitted by: Angie
Coal City, IL (5/20/2009)
Hi Angie, Thank you so much. I will keep you posted on the new CD!
Thanks for coming to my school and performing. You are really good. I really wanted to see you play at the Coal City Public Library, but by mom had to work so she got me your autograph on your cd. When she got home and gave it to me I was so psyched. k.i.t your fan Adam
Submitted by: Adam
Coal City, IL (5/20/2009)
Hey Adam, You’re very welcome. Thank you for the compliments. I hope you enjoy the CD! Tom
Hey, Tom! I’m Hannah and you came to my school today. I thought your performance was amazing! I thought it was going to be some regular concert… but I was wrong! Thanks for introducing my school to a new type of music. =D (By the way, some of my friends went to your concert after school, too! I wasn’t able to, though. I had to babysit!) I hope to hear your music again. ~Thanks~ Hannah
Submitted by: Hannah
Hi Hannah! Thanks so much. I had fun at your school! Tom
Hi Tom, I’m a kid from Coal City.I thought your performance was awesome!!!!!! My mom loves Mannheim Steamroller and Dennis DeYoung. I just wanted to say it was awesome. Well, peace out Dawg.
Submitted by: Noah
Coal City, IL (5/19/2009)
Peace out to you too Dawg! 🙂 Thanks for writing. Tom
I opened for you with The Shiva Zoo @ Jupiter Studios in Alliance OH last night. I’m sorry I didn’t get to talk to you after your set. You have such extraordinary technique and it was a great pleasure to witness such a musical event. Thanks for stopping by NE Ohio Tom!
Submitted by: Randy
Kent, OH (5/9/2009)
Hey Randy, I had a great time in Alliance performing at the Studio. Thanks so much for the compliments!
Hi Tom, my son just realized that you were the Piano Judge for the Indian Prairie School District 204 Solo Ensemble in February. You then had a performance at Scullen School where he met you again. He feels so honored to have met a “famous” person, and wished to get a chance to speak with you. When I supported his idea to write to you, he decided against it, saying that “who would remember a normal kid like me, besides he must have seen hundreds of kids that day!!”. Agreed. However, I am writing anyway without him knowing (you know how moms are!!). I am just amazed at your achievements, and am trying to find ways to promote/nurture his musical endeavors. Despite his love for music, he keeps hesitating to stick w/ school orchestra, thinking that it is missing the spice he is looking for. I was wondering if you would be in the area again. I know he would love to see how a performance is brought to life, and perhaps talk to you … Thank you.
Submitted by: Monique
Naperville, IL (3/9/2009)
Hi Monique, So nice to hear from you. I’m glad I had the opportunity to perform at your son’s school. He can contact me anytime, and I will gladly respond. It is great that I’ve been a source of inspiration to him. It goes both ways, as comments like yours inspire ME to continue doing what I do with students. Thank you for your kind words. The next time I will be performing in your area is at the Lisle Library on April 19th at 2 PM. It is open to the general public. Hope to see you there! Tom
Thanks again for visiting our school today. My afternoon classes were telling me all about how cool you are and how much they loved your music. You made quite an impression! Thank you!!! If you ever need a reference for a school performance, please feel free to send anyone my way. I’d love to tell them why they should definitely have you out to their school!
Submitted by: Lori Lauff
Naperville, IL (2/26/2009)
Hi Lori, It was a pleasure. Such a great day. I’m glad the students had a good time!! Take care, Tom
Saw you play at the Dennis DeYoung show tonight, man you were AWESOME. It was a great show and the drumming was terrific. I have a 13 yr old son who is an aspiring drummer. I had wished we brought him along to the show. he would have liked it a lot. I’ll make sure he watches some of your videos.
Submitted by: Debbie
Philadelphia, PA (2/14/2009)
Hi Debbie! Thanks so much. I’m glad you enjoyed the concert. We had a great time at Penn’s Peak. Hope to see you and your son next time!
Tom, My wife and I attended the Detroit Mannheim Steamroller concert last Thursday. Great concert! We really enjoyed ourselves. Due to some confusion at the Will Call table and getting lost in the Masonic Temple, we were unable to get to the lobby where we could have met you. I noticed you also played recorder as well as drums and other percussion instruments. Were you playing recorder before you joined Mannheim Steamroller? I played in a recorder ensemble at our church for a couple years. I didn’t start until I was about 52 (I’m 57 now) and Mannheim was one of my inspirations to take lessons. I noticed there were no flutes. Are recorders used exclusively where one might expect to use flutes? Sorry about all the questions. I just never had an opportunity to come close to meeting someone in a group I admire. I’m sorry we missed you.
Submitted by: Eric
Detroit, MI (1/4/2009)
Hi Eric, I’m so glad you enjoyed the concert and I’m sorry as well that we did not have an opportunity to meet afterward. Next time, yes? To answer your questions, I did not really play recorder before the tour. It is one of two instruments I learned in the fall in preparation for the show (the hammer dulcimer being the other one). However, I of course play all kinds of percussion instruments, as well as piano, so learning a new instrument, though challenging, was fun and not too overwhelming. And, yes, all the wind parts were covered by recorders and oboe, except Joey (our percussionist) had an electronic wind instrument and he was creating a lot of different sounds on that. Thanks for writing, and I hope you continue to enjoy the recorder ensemble at your church!
Is is true that Dennis will release a new album in 2009? When can I expect to see the flow of tour dates coming in for the DDY Shows? BTW, YOU ARE A GREAT DRUMMER!
Submitted by: Jason
Hi Jason! Thank you for writing and for your compliment! I appreciate it! We are all anxious for the US release of the new Dennis DeYoung album “One Hundred Years from Now”. www.dennisdeyoung.com will give you the best information on release updates and his tour schedule for 09. Happy New Year!
I saw your Mannheim Steamroller Christmas show the other night at Christopher Newport University! You were amazing! It was such a beautiful performance!!
Submitted by: Michelle
Newport News, VA (12/12/2008)
Hi Michelle, Thank you so much. We had a great time in Virginia. I hope to see you again soon! Take care, Tom
Hi there.. Just wanted to take a moment to tell you that your performance last night at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport, PA was amazing. Looking forward to seeing you perform again. Happy Holidays! Angela
Submitted by: Angela
Williamsport, PA (12/11/2008)
Hi Angela, Thank you for writing and for the kind words. I’m glad our performance got you in the Christmas spirit! Happy Holidays to you as well! Tom
I really enjoyed your show tonight. I really can’t wait to hear the entire symphony. A question, on itunes are you going to do your symphony in full orchestra or the same way you did it tonight? Also, I would like to know when you will come back to Naperville, like you said “hope to see you again” (plus, can’t get enough autographs! hahaha). Thank you for sharing your talents with us we really appreciated it!
Submitted by: Corey
Naperville, IL (6/18/2008)
Thank you so much! The symphony release on CD and Itunes is fully orchestrated and has choir too. I will keep you posted on when it’s done, and also when I’ll be back to Naperville! All the best, Tom
Hey Tom, I was at your concert, *Looks at the clock* about 3 hours ago :). I just wanted to say that i loved it! Of course that’s not a surprise, i loved it before at Oswego East when you came to play. I’m just SO glad i got to come and see you play again, you’re so talented, i envy you. I do have to say i didn’t remember you playing Now is the Time at East but you did tonight. That has to be my new favorite of your songs, and let me tell you they are all fighting to be my favorite. Tonight you should be glad to know, I brought my sister with me and she fell in love with your music. Just wanted to compliment you and tell you that you should really do more shows like that one. I think the community would thank you, i know i would. Katie
Submitted by: Katie
Hi Katie, Thank you so much for all the compliments. I’m glad you enjoyed the concert and Now is the Time. That is one of my favorites too. 😉 I will keep you posted on when I’m in the area next. I’m sure it will be sometime soon. Take care Katie! Tom
Hey ya Mr. Sharpe, just wanted to say AWESOME concert the other night! You’re one of my idols cause I’m hoping to get into music and I just wanna say that you’re awesome, and thanks again for everything.
Submitted by: CC
Aurora, IL (1/13/2008)
Hi CC, Thank you so much. It was my pleaure.
Hi Mr. Sharpe. You came to Waubonsie and played for us the other day, and I was blown away. I was playing the hand drums behind you during symphony and was right in front of you were playing the percussion intro. I have a few questions. When will the symphony pieces that we played be on CD or on iTunes? Is Vic Firth going to let you design a line of sticks or mallets anytime soon, because I would definitely buy them. Thanks again for playing at our school and giving us the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing music program. oh and one last question…do u give lessons. and if so how can I contact you so that I can take lesson with you. Thanks again. You’re really an inspiration to me as a fellow percussionist.
Submitted by: Alex
You did a great job with the djembe part! To answer your questions – I am trying to finish up the symphony this year. When I do, it will be on both CD and iTunes. Regarding Vic Firth, they already have a lot of great stick lines, and I’m proud to be one of their endorsees. Please keep checking the website for any artist endorsement updates that I have. For your last question, I am unable to accept private students at this point, but I always make an effort to give clinics whenever possible. Thanks so much for your e-mail Alex!! Tom
So, I have been playing the violin for a few years now and I was wondering – how easy is it to switch instruments? I mean, I still want to play the violin, but how long would it take to learn another instrument? Does it depend on the type of instrument? And how long have you been serious about your music? By the way, I loved playing Symphony. Waubonsie was lucky to have you as our guest artist. Great job with that song, it was amazing!
Submitted by: Shruthi
Naperville, IL (1/12/2008)
Hi Shruthi! Thank you for writing and for your compliments! To answer your question about switching instruments – you will have a head start on any new instrument because of the theory and musicality you already have from the violin. The technique and nuances of a new instrument will be different, with the level of difficulty depending on what you choose from here. I think it’s always a great idea to expand your horizons and take on a new challenge, however, I hope you consider “adding” a new instrument rather than “switching”. Continuing to learn on two instruments will enrich your education, expand your repertoire, and most likely add to your love of music. Of course you need to be committed to the practicing! 🙂 Good luck! Tom
Where are you going to be playing with Dennis DeYoung? There are only two Florida dates on his website! When are the February dates being posted? Thanks Jason
Submitted by: Jason
I’m sure Dennis will have more dates posted as we move closer to the summer. Just so you know, Dennis has two musicians for every instrument so that he is assured all his performances are covered. If you interested in seeing Dennis, any concert you see will be awesome, but if you are interested in seeing ME perform with Dennis, be sure to check back to make sure I’m playing that evening. Thanks Jason!
Tom, thanks for taking a few minutes to speak with me after your performance at Waubonsie Valley High School last night. A truly awesome performance and wonderful combination of world drumming, keyboard (I’m a piano player myself), orchestra and band instruments, and vocals. My son has really enjoyed working with you this week. Thanks for all your inspiration.
Submitted by: Ann
Aurora, IL (1/11/2008)
Hi Ann, I’m glad I had the opportunity to work with your son and the other students! Thank you for your kind words. Tom
Well this piece of music is really beautiful. I’m excited for tomorrow. I never had a meet the artist concert before (or heard of one) but I know I will never forget this experience. Thank you for taking the time to help us out. 🙂
Submitted by: Lizett
Aurora, IL (1/10/2008)
Thank you so much. I’m glad to hear this has been a memorable experience for you! 🙂 Tom
I attended the Dance Chicago performance this afternoon, and was awed by your music. I plan to purchase your CD, and wondered which songs you played today. Thank you very much!
Submitted by: Sheila
Gurnee, IL (12/2/2007)
Hi Sheila, Thank you so much! I love Dance Chicago and I’m honored to be a part of it. Since I played so many clips of my work, it is difficult to remember all the pieces. I know I took a lot from my CD “Like Setting Myself on Fire” (including opening the show with the title track), as well as pieces from my upcoming CD which I hope to be finishing up in 2008. Thanks again! Tom
You just have recently played at our school and I watched you play. I just want you to know that you are an inspiration on me on playing the drums. I have been playing for about 5 years and one day hope to make a living off of it. You were amazing the way you managed to make all of those different instruments sound so good together. I was wondering how you hit the cymbal so hard with just your fingers, did you have it electronically set up? I just thought the performance was awesome. Thank you for coming to our school.
Submitted by: Eric
Naperville, IL (11/10/2007)
Hi Eric, You are welcome, and thank you for telling me. I am honored that my performance and style of playing has inspired you. I hope that you continue to follow your dream of being a professional musician and work hard to achieve your goal. To answer your question, none of the cymbals you saw me play with my hands had electronic triggers on them. I guess I’m just playing them with a focused attack. Any instruments that I play, I’m always thinking in terms of what dynamic I would like to achieve, so you must be commenting on some of my fortissimo sections. Honestly I don’t even feel it, meaning I’m working with the natural “give” of the cymbal so that it doesn’t hurt the way it would if you hit something that didn’t move upon being struck. Best of luck to you Eric! Tom
I’m a violinist and I was amazed when you performed! It was fun watching you and Mrs. Gillespie play. I hope to see you play again! I’m so downloading your songs!! I was wondering if the songs have the violin parts in it? Thanks for playing at Crone!!!!! -Corey
Submitted by: Corey
Naperville, IL (11/10/2007)
Hi Corey, Thank you so much for writing. I’m glad you enjoyed the performance. To answer your question about my songs available for download – There are orchestral sections that have strings, but I met Jennifer after I recorded the CD “Like Setting Myself on Fire”, so she is not on that one. She will be on the next CD though, so please keep checking back for a release date! Thanks again Corey! Tom
Hi! I saw your awesome performance at Clifford Crone School! You were excellent! It was very fun to see such a lively performance. I was telling my mom about the assembly and we were wondering if you could donate an autographed item. My mom and her friends do a fund raiser to raise money for breast cancer. It is a silent auction, and it would be wonderful if we got a signed item! Thanks! ~Haley Craig~ P.S. Were you in the band Styx?
Submitted by: Haley
Naperville, Illinois (11/9/2007)
Hi Haley, Thank you for such nice compliments. To answer your first question, I would be happy to donate a signed item for your benefit. I am actually asked this question quite a bit, and I’m always willing to contribute merchandise for a good cause. To answer your question about Styx – I am the drummer for Dennis DeYoung. Dennis sang, played keyboards, and wrote a lot of the great Styx hits, like Come Sail Away, The Best of Times, Lady, etc. When we play a concert, it is called “Dennis DeYoung and the music of Styx” because we play all the songs he wrote and sang in the band. However, he has parted from the other guys in the group, and all of us performing with him now are Dennis DeYoung’s band. He doesn’t go by the name “Styx” any more. Thank you for your questions Haley! Tom
We saw you perform and we really enjoyed it! But we also thought you were very interesting and adorable. Are you single? Are you interested in meeting for lunch some time?
Submitted by: Janella
Chicago, IL (11/9/2007)
Hi Janella, I’m glad you enjoyed my performance! To answer your question, I am happily married. I am flattered that you asked though! 🙂 Tom
From a violinist who performed with you and Dennis DeYoung. Two weeks ago we performed with Dennis DeYoung in Detroit. I remembered your name from the show because I was amazed at the magnitude of your talents as a drummer… you were sitting two feet away from me and the conductor too – I noticed how incredible you performed. Just wanted to write you to tell you how amazing of a musician I thought you were! All the best.
Detroit, Michigan (11/5/2007)
Thank you so much! I hope we will play together again sometime. Thank you for your compliments! Tom
Hey whats up Tom? Yeah I just wanted to let you know that you are just absolutely INCREDIBLE! I go to Oswego East and play the trumpet in band. I got to watch you perform at East the other day and I was just floored by your talent and musical knowledge. All of your songs just tell a story in my head. I personally love the song The Burning Sands(its my myspace profile song). Whenever I listen to it I picture being in an Arabian desert, and it’s just amazing how colorful your music is. Keep up the good work.
Submitted by: Zack
Oswego, IL (11/1/2007)
Zack, thank you for writing and telling me. I’m glad that my performance had an impact on you! Take care, Tom
Tom, this is Garrett from Albany!! I met you at the Dennis DeYoung concert in Schenectady NY. Thanks for the attention you gave me, it means a lot.. I really enjoyed your drumming!! As my music teacher says (SPOT ON) and good luck for the rest of the tour…. Garrett….
Submitted by: Garrett
Albany, New York (10/26/2007)
Hi Garrett, You are welcome and thank you for the nice comments. I’m glad you enjoyed the show! Tom
Hi Tom! How are you? I am Rumon from BANGLADESH. Actually I am interested in music, and I will try to learn how to play drums. Please can you suggest to me how can I improve to play drums perfectly.
Submitted by: Rumon
Hello Rumon! Thank you so much for writing. I’m glad my music has found you in Bangladesh! Good for you for aspiring to become a musician and a drummer. My advice to you is to find a private teacher in your area and dedicate a lot of time to practicing technique and rudiments. Also, make sure to listen to as much music in as many different genres as possible. Listening is an important part of being a well rounded musician. You might also benefit from viewing some instructional videos online. A good source for this is through one of my sponsors, Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets. Please visit them at www.vicfirth.com. To answer the second part of your question, I’m afraid I cannot give you advice on how to play perfectly. 🙂 Try not to think of anything musical as a pursuit of perfection. Rather, you should not only accept, but be happy that there is always going to be something new to learn, no matter what level you are. Look forward to whatever challenges the day brings you, and know that the opportunity is always there to rest at night a better musician than you were when you awoke that morning. All the best Rumon! Tom
I went to the percussion camp at Waubonsie Valley H.S. and I was there at the Illinois Day of Percussion. I totally LOVED your performance that day. I didn’t get a chance to slip by and look at your CDs, but I’m going to get a peek somehow. Will you be there again at the next Illinois Day of Percussion? I really hope so! Please PLEASE write me back. I would like to hear your response!
Submitted by: Hannah
Aurora, IL (6/16/2007)
Hi Hannah! Thank you for writing. I’m glad you enjoyed my performance. That was a fun day. I would be honored to come back next year. If I’m invited again, I will be there! As far as my CD, there are a lot of options here for you to sample the music, from an itunes link, to myspace, to ordering right here off the website. I hope to see you next year Hannah! Tom
Hey Tom, I am Dabrielle and i was just thanking you for performing at Ella Flagg Young School. I go there and I wish you will come play again because I liked the music a lot!!!
Submitted by: Dabrielle
Chicago, IL (5/11/2007)
Thank you Dabrielle! I hope to see you again next year! Tom
Dear Mr.Sharpe, I’m from Jones School and got your autograph (in the purple). What songs did you preform at our school???
Submitted by: Azka
Hi Azka! Thank you for your question. The pieces I played for you were: Like Setting Myself on Fire, Heritage, CounterBalance, Dancing on the Bones Movement II, and Tranceformation. The first two and the last piece are all on my CD titled “Like Setting Myself on Fire”. Take care Azka, Tom
Has it been hard working with the instruments at the same time? Have you gone to different states/countries to perform? ALSO YOU ROCK MAN. YOU ARE AWESOME.
Submitted by: Roxana
Hi Roxana, Thank you! 🙂 It is a challenge to compose for all of those instruments, but it is what I love doing. Usually when you are young, you tend to gravitate towards things you enjoy and are good at. Somewhere down the line, a lot of people get away from that idea. I always feel bad for people that don’t love what they do. I just couldn’t do it!! I say success, financial and otherwise, will always follow love. Anything worth doing will require hard work. That is why I encourage you to pursue something you love, so all your hard work will pay off because you are following your dreams. To answer your second question, yes, I have traveled with my music. I wish to do so more, and I know that my music will take me where I need to go. Best wishes Roxana! Tom
You were at my school today performing (May 9), and I must say it was great! I was in the front of the row. Well, my question is how long does it take you to write music and learn to play two or three instruments at once?
Submitted by: Angie
Plainfield, IL (5/9/2007)
Hi Angie, Thank you for your nice comment and question. The answer is, a long time! 🙂 I take great care in what I present to others. Writing compositions and developing them for performance is one of the real rewards of being an artist and musician. You have to enjoy the process. A lot times I feel that my compositions are never really done, because they are always evolving depending on the performance situation. Some artists pump out a CD every year and are going for maximum output. I want to make sure that everything I release and perform is of the highest quality I can produce. I still want to be proud of what I’m putting out now in 20 years and beyond, and not look back and say “I really rushed to get that done!”. My next CD will feature a piece that I started roughly 5 years ago. What once was a 6 minute piece has now developed into my first full symphony. I’m so glad I waited and continued to develop the piece. Now I see it for it’s full potential instead of just trying to get it finished. Take care Angie!
Hey! you came to our school today, and ive never heard any music close to the awesome music you make. I’m a musician and i know how hard it is to just make your own song with only one instrument but when you played the cymbals, drums, keyboard, and everything else at once with different beats to each instrument and you composed all your own music? Thats amazing! I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed hearing you perform! (I sat in the front row in the middle and when you jumped out at us when you were finishing playing the tamborine, it scared me but we were cracking up sooo much, haha.) Jessica
Submitted by: Jessica
Plainfield, IL (5/9/2007)
Hi Jessica, Thank you! It was a pleasure being at your school. Best of luck to you with your musical future, and maybe I’ll see you again next year! Tom
Friends showed me the dvd of your performance in Rockford for Charlotte’s Web. Will you be performing nearby soon? Dvd was awesome. Would love to see you in person.
Submitted by: Gail
Rockford, IL (5/1/2007)
Hi Gail, Thank you! I’m glad you had a chance to see the concert on DVD. Yes, I will be back in Rockford on July 28th for a concert in Sinnissippi Park. I hope to see you then! 🙂 Tom
Hi Tom, I just wanted to send you an email and thank you again for performing for us today at West H.S. Your music was absolutely fascinating and we really enjoyed every minute of it. It would be fun to work with you sometime. Thanks again, Mary Kay Knapp
Submitted by: Mary Kay Knapp
Iowa City, Iowa (4/25/2007)
HI Mary Kay, Thank you for your kind words. It was a pleasure performing for you. I always enjoy school residences and would love to come work with your students. Feel free to get in touch with me when the time is right for you. Take care, Tom
I must say……OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just saw your performance at Washington High School with the Elmhurst College Choir, and it was FREAKING INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!! I love music and every once and a while I will hear something that just simply moves me. Like, “Wow, that was cool, I think I’ll listen to it a couple hundred times.” But your music move me in such a way that really cannot describe. The only way I can describe it is, when I saw a picture of Johnny Depp, (I am a mega fan of his, like huge..) as Sweeny Todd (one of my favorite musicals..) I completely freaked. He was so beautiful. Anyway, that feeling, times a billion. I saw beautiful images in my head that I never thought I could see. It gave me the most incredible feeling. I have NEVER felt like this. And I thought to myself, “This guy has been walking around with that in his head???” I thought, wow, intense. Something must have really set him off to write such a beautiful song,(I’m referring to “Like Setting Myself on Fire”, which by the way, was really like setting myself on fire..) Which leads me to my question, (sorry, I HAD to tell you all of that or otherwise I would explode…) What gave you the inspiration to write “Like Setting Myself on Fire” and where did that title come from? It is very interesting… Anyway…. Thank you so much for performing at my school. It really was one of the best experiences of my life. And I love new artists on the rise. I really hope that you hold a few concerts this summer here in Cedar Rapids, cuz…I would bring all of my friends. You are that amazing. Thanks again!
Submitted by: Heather
Cedar Rapids, Iowa (4/24/2007)
Hi Heather! Wow 🙂 Thank you! I am very flattered. To answer your question, I am inspired by beauty, passion, energy, and emotion, and I’m fortunate enough to have the focus, dedication, and creativity to bring out my own voice in the world. I believe that the arts are a gift and that God speaks through artists. I feel that the ability to create and perform is a gift that has been given to me, and it is my responsibility to share music with others. I believe that my music has a healing aspect, and for that reason it is something that I need to continue to bring to the world. I want my music to speak directly to people so that they can relate it to their own lives and live inspired. For me, playing and writing music inspires me to play and write more music, and I feel very blessed to have been given the gifts to do so; to touch people in such a way that they send me wonderful letters, and that my work has a lasting impact on them. The title comes from the feeling I get when I perform. It is a good thing 🙂 I would love to come back to Cedar Rapids. I go where my music takes me, and fans spreading the word always helps! Thank you again for such a beautiful letter, and best wishes to you! Tom
I saw your performance today(4-23-07) at Rushville-Industry High School and it was awesome. I’ll have to get me a copy of one of your cds. Good luck in the future. My question is how did you start doing this?
Submitted by: Sheley
Rushville, IL (4/23/2007)
Hi Sheley, Thank you for writing and for your words. I started creating this music because I knew that I had something special to give. It took me a while to figure out what that was, but I always knew it would be in music and performance. I began to question why I was resigned to just being a member of other peoples ensembles, and allowing my career to be determined by the success of others. I knew that there was more out there for me, and I finally realized the only way to achieve my lofty goals was to take responsibility for my own success. I started writing, and the music seemed to flow through me. I saw myself on stage performing my own work before I ever knew how I would make it happen. I was determined and did not quit when it would have been so easy to do so. Sometimes your path in life takes time to reveal itself. I encourage you to stay true to your dreams. Take care, Tom
I’m not going to lie! That was an ammmmmaaaaazzzzinggg performance today at our high school! I got 2nd row seats right in the middle! I’ve never heard or seen anyone ever play that type of music before! It was crazy cool! Come back next year, it was outstanding! Thanks for comming!
Submitted by: Ashely
Ottawa, IL (3/15/2007)
Thank you Ashley!! I hope to see you next year! 🙂 Tom
Hey Tom!! I saw your performance today at Ottawa High School, and I thought it was amazing!! How long does it take you to practice and master all of those instruments to prepare for a performance?? Thanks so much for coming and hope to see you again next year!!
Submitted by: Jesse
Ottawa, IL (3/15/2007)
Hi Jesse, Thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed my performance. This is a tough question to give a definite answer, because “mastering” any instrument is an ongoing, lifelong journey. Even the pieces I have been performing for several years get modified and changed, depending on the setting and who is performing with me. So, it’s more than just practicing what I already know. What I’ve found that works for me is dedicating myself to music each day regardless of whatever else is happening. If I have a big concert coming up, my time is dedicated to the performance. If I don’t, I work more on composing or practicing newer pieces. As with any art form, it is just as much about what you do with the time as the actual time itself. In other words, whatever you do, make sure to do it with intent, and you’ll get more done! Tom
Hey Tom, Some buddys and I were wondering if there was any way to catch a show before the ones you have posted. We tried to see you at Elgin Community College and you were sold out.
Submitted by: Alex
Algonquin, IL (2/18/2007)
Hi Alex, Thanks for writing – I’m sorry that things didn’t work out in Elgin. Hopefully next time! Really the best way to see a show other than my posted dates is to let the venues and schools in your area know about me. I’d be happy to come to Algonquin and give a performance sometime. Thanks again Alex, and take care. Tom
I was at your concert today at Lake Forest High School and it was terrific. I liked it so much I will be at your concert at the Gorton Center on the 18th. I was wondering, how do you come up with names for your songs? Thanks.
Submitted by: C.J.
Lake Forest, IL (11/17/2006)
Hi C.J. Thanks so much. It was fun performing for you in Lake Forest. To answer your question, every composer has an order in which they create. For me, the music definitely comes first. Most, if not all of my pieces are already very far along in composition before they are named. This gives me the opportunity to listen to the work in a somewhat completed form and hear what it is saying. I don’t like to name my pieces. Rather, I like the music to find it’s own name. So, I listen to the work to hear it’s voice, and invite my colleagues to do the same and give their input. The biggest influence in naming pieces has without a doubt has been my wife, who also does all my graphic design. She helps me with the following – find the emotion that the work emulates. That is what is most important to me. Great question C.J!
Hi Tom, you performed with us today at Round Lake high school. It was awesome. You are amazing. In college I want to major in music arts and percussion and I was wondering how you and other famous percussionists became discovered. Thanks again for the awesome performance.
Submitted by: Alex
Round Lake, IL (11/9/2006)
Hi Alex! Thanks so much for your kind words. It was a lot of fun coming to your school and performing my pieces with you. Good for you for wanting to pursue music in college! In response to your question, my experience is that it is not just one thing that gets you “discovered”, but rather knowing that each one thing is an important step in your musical journey, and a building block towards a successful career. My advice to you as you continue down your own path, is to dedicate yourself to producing quality work, whether it’s getting high grades in school, or preparing your next percussion piece to it’s fullest. If you believe that what you are doing has value and purpose, chances are others will too. Also, try to view success by the satisfaction of doing something really well, and not by how famous you think you might get by doing it. If you are proud of what you are doing, a lot of the other pieces will fall into place, and people will begin to notice. Best of luck to you, and please keep in touch as you continue your education. Tom
Hey Tom, Do you have a myspace? You should get one so people can put your killer music on their myspaces. I’d definitely do it!
Submitted by: Rick
Aurora, IL (10/19/2006)
Hi Rick, Thank you for your question. Due to somewhat popular demand, I now have a myspace page. www.myspace.com/sharpeworldmusic. See you there!
Hey Tom, You came to my school today to play some of your great music. I must say you have the greatest music. My question is, how long did it take you to find out you had such talent? Kelly
Submitted by: Kelly
Chicago, IL (5/11/2006)
Hi Kelly, I’m glad I was able to perform for you! To answer your question, I knew from a very early age that I wanted to be a musician, so it didn’t take me long to realize I would be in music one way or another. The lengthy part is the balance of patience and persistence that comes with being an artist. A lot of people have talent, but few dedicate themselves to turning that talent into something that has a lasting impact on their lives. A lot of people rate success simply by the amount of money they make. Being successful doing something you enjoy is harder, and being successful doing your life’s work is the hardest, and takes more than talent – it takes courage and dedication. It is the most rewarding feeling in the world. Thank you Kelly! Tom
I was at your concert on Thursday. It was AWESOME!! Oh it blew me away! I’m buying your cd as soon as possible! I just wanted to know how long it took you to memorize all of those songs???
Submitted by: Shannon
Hi Shannon, Thank you so much! Actually, memorizing music is a very natural process. If you are planning on performing in public, you should be practicing so much on a regular basis that you can’t help but have your music all but memorized. It is difficult to really get in to your emotions if you’re stuck reading the notes as they go by. It has to internally be a part of you to really be effective. Memorizing your own compositions is even more natural, as the music is already a part of your very existence, like remembering your name or birthday (except much longer :)). Thanks Shannon! Tom
Hey Tom, you came to my school for Arts Alive and it was quite excellent, I must say. Being a fellow keyboardist, can I ask you what tone you use? I’m sure I could incorporate it in some of my music. Dillon
Submitted by: Dillion
Villa Park, (2/25/2006)
Hi Dillon, Thanks so much for writing. The keyboard sounds I use in concert are almost always many layers of different sounds. The only exception to this is that some of my music requires a pure piano sound. When I am layering instruments, I use a lot of mallet percussion instruments as well as bowed strings, voice, and ethnic strings such as Sitar and Tampura. It is very rare that I use any synth patches. Rather, I like to layer real sounding patches to create a totally unique blend of instrumentation. Best of luck in your musical endeavors! Tom
Hi Tom, You performed for the Arts Alive festival at my school. I was blown away and inspired. I even checked out your CD. Amazing. I really liked your music – it just blew me away. when will you preform in Chicago again? Your fan, Tomas
Submitted by: Tomas
Villa Park, Illinois (2/23/2006)
Hi Tomas, Thanks so much for writing! Keep an eye on my peformance dates. Concerts and events are being added all the time. I hope to see you again soon! Tom
Hello Tom, I attended your clinic at Vandercook College and I must say I was blown away. Being an aspiring percussionist, piano player, and composer, I was just taken away by your performance. As you said, your works are original compositions. I was wondering what type(s) of computer programs and software you use? Or if you don’t use any, perhaps you could suggest a couple that are of high quality? Thank you very much. Again, I really enjoyed your performace and bought your CD. Fondly, Justin
Submitted by: Justin
Chicago, IL (2/6/2006)
Thanks so much for writing and for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the clinic. I had fun being there! Regarding your question about notation software, I use Sibelius and have found it to be very thorough. I believe that the latest version is Sibelius 3. I have also used Finale in the past and have found that to be a good program as well. Many universities, colleges, and even high schools have these programs. You might see if you could check them out there to decide which one is best for you before making a purchase. I hope that helps! Tom
Hi Tom, I just wanted to let you know that your show on PBS was really cool. Also I was wondering how you decide who is going to play your music with you. I have seen you 2 times in person and now once on TV and you seem to have different people with you each time. I hope to see you again. I live in Chicago and I hope you play here again. Cheryl.
Submitted by: Cheryl
Chicago, IL (7/3/2005)
Hi Cheryl. Thanks for coming to see me perform. I’m glad you liked the Illinois Arts Council special on TV. To answer your question, who performs my work with me largely depends the type of space, concert length, and venue atmosphere there is for that particular concert. Sometimes it works best for me to perform as a soloist, or with a smaller group. If you have seen me in a theater, it was most likely with my touring ensemble. If I am doing a school residency, then you might see me with a larger group of student musicians who have worked with me in preperation of the upcoming concert. I feel very strongly that I am able to perform my work as a solo artist. That way I know that the pieces are compositionally sound. From there, the possibilities for performance can branch out in many different directions. I hope that answers your question. I will most certainly perform in Chicago again in the near future. Just keep an eye on my performance dates. Thanks Cheryl! Tom
Dear Tom, I am interested in having you come to our school to talk and present to our music classes. However, I notice from your performance dates that you do week long residencies. I know that (our school) cannot afford that right now. Is it possible to come in for just one day? Thank you very much.
Submitted by: John
Chicago, IL (5/21/2005)
Hi John, Thank you for your interest. Yes, I would be able to come in and demonstrate for your students. Even just one day will leave a lasting impact on them. Thanks John!
Tom, thank you so much for coming and performing for us at WVHS!! Everyone loved your music, even those not in band/chorus/orchestra. I was a first soprano in choir at the Meet The Artist Concert. How you added a chorus part to your songs is a mystery to me! I simply love your music! Now Is The Time is so beautiful and Like Setting Myself On Fire was a blast to sing. I was wondering if I would ever get to see you perform nearby again. My real question though, is what inspires you to write such emotional and beautiful music? You are very talented and I am so thankful I had the opportunity to work with you! Oh yeah, if you ever decide to add a choir to your songs again you know where to find your vocalists! ; )
Submitted by: Katie
Aurora, IL (2/10/2005)
Hi Katie! Thank you for such a nice letter. I always try to have something going on in the Chicago community, so yes, it is quite possible that you could come to another event sometime! As far as your other question, I believe that my inspiration to write the music I do comes from the realization that I am doing what I was meant to do in my life. When you find that, it shows in everything you do. It is a shame that so many people choose to settle for what is comfortable rather than go for their real dreams. Make your vision a reality. When you do, beauty and emotion will emulate from you and affect all those around you in a positive way. Take care Katie, Tom
Hey Tom, I really enjoyed your preformance at Waubonsie Valley High School. I was in the chorus. Anyway my question was, was how does it feel to be internationally known and what advice could you give to kids like me who want to be in the music buissness. Thanks again, Danielle
Submitted by: Daneille
Aurora, IL (1/20/2005)
Hi Danielle, Thank you for writing. It is always nice to be recognized for your work, but the real reward is in the composition and performance of the music, regardless of if you are widely recognized or not. Be true to your art form, first and foremost. Strive to become as educated as possible, and always play (sing) from your heart. If you do this, success will surely follow. Best wishes! Tom
Hey Tom! I really enjoyed your clinic and your playing at our concert on Thursday. I was just wondering, do you ever get headaches from playing percussion? And I so envy your abilities in percussion.
Submitted by: Lisa
Aurora, IL (1/17/2005)
Hi Lisa, Thank you for playing my music with me! To answer your question, I ALWAYS wear earplugs when I play, so no I don’t get headaches! Being a cellist, you might not need to worry about that as much, but I always recommend as a musician that you keep earplugs with you just in case things get loud (like when you played with me :)) Thanks Lisa!
Hey Tom, Thanks for coming to Waubonsie for the Meet the Artist concert! Your solo performance was awesome and I have no doubt that everyone was blown away. Also, it was so much fun playing your songs with you and the rest of the band. You’re a huge inspiration to me as a percussionist and everyone else as well! I also wanted to say, your CD, “Like Setting Myself on Fire,” I’m in love with it! 🙂 One question I have is, what is your favorite song featured on that CD? Thanks again! Bryna
Submitted by: Bryna
Aurora, IL (1/16/2005)
Hi Bryna, Thank you for all the kind words! I really enjoyed performing with you. It is hard to pick a favorite of your own compositions. Though I created the CD to run togther as one completed work, there are two sections that I would consider 3 movement pieces. The first is Heritage, Generations, and A Legacy. The second is All That is Seen and Unseen, Bring Me Back Her Heart, and Like Waking Out of a Deep Sleep. I enjoy the way these pieces are inter-woven together. Personally though, I love to hear what pieces of mine have inspired others more than anything else! Take care Bryna! Tom
Thanks a lot for the concert that you recently just did with us at Waubonsie Valley HS. I was in the band and I really enjoyed your music along with everyone else. My question is if you are ever planning on coming back and visiting again with another concert, like next year or when this Freshman class are juniors? Thanks a lot!
Submitted by: Jessica
Aurora, IL (1/14/2005)
Hi Jessica, It was my pleasure being there! You are very lucky at your school to have a strong program that supports artists in residence. I am sure that you will work with many fine artists during your time there. I would love to come back when your class becomes juniors or seniors, and I will be sure to keep in touch with your directors. It is quite possible! Thanks Jessica! Tom
Hey Tom! I must say, you were truly great last night. How did you come up with such awesome stuff? And how did you learn to do all that stuff with the instruments? It was so cool!
Submitted by: Rachel
Aurora, IL (1/14/2005)
Hi Rachel, Thank you very much! What you saw comes from having a deep passion for what I do, and the technique and musical knowlegde from formal education to make it work. Not to mention lots of practice! My advice is, do what you love doing with all of your heart, and work hard to learn as much as you can so that your vision can become a reality. Thank you for your question Rachel!
I actually played with you at Waubonsie Valley High School. I had a lot of fun learining your music I was wondering if you will be coming out with more CDs in the future. I really really like your music I especially like to play it. Thanks a lot and again. I had a lot of fun playing with you. You are a excellent musician.
Submitted by: Ashlee
Aurora, IL (1/13/2005)
Hi Ashlee, Thank you so much for all the nice things you said. I had a lot of fun at Waubonsie working with all of you and performing together at the concert. I am beginning work on my next CD this year (2005). I will keep you posted on when it comes out! Take care, Tom
Why do you play so many instruments at once?
Submitted by: Joan Broz from the Daily Herald
Naperville, IL (1/13/2005)
When I compose and record music, I generally think on a grand scale, meaning, I hear a lot of different parts for my music. It is so wonderful with today’s recording technology that you can layer individual performances on top of each other many times over, and this is how I record my work. Therefore, the sound I achieve on my recordings is very big, as if a large ensemble was performing it. As great as it is to hear my work sound so full on recording, it created a challenge for me when it became time to perform my music in a live setting. Although I do not strive to recreate exactly what is on my CD, I still want that huge sound. This is how I started to think about how many parts I could play at one time as a solo artist. I figured that If I could perform my own work as a soloist, then the possibilities for expansion were limitless, and it seems like that was the right choice. Currently, I perform as a soloist, and I also have a core ensemble of 4 musicians that perform with me if the situation is right. I also have several of my works scored for percussion ensemble, and many works for full symphony orchestra and choir. This has allowed me to perform my music in many different artistic settings, and has created many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise if I were relying solely on having to perform my music with a group. Thank you for your question!
Hello Tom! I’m sending you this mail from Barcelona. It’s really difficult to find your music here, that’s actually my question: is it really possible?. I would like also to know if there is a song with “you” in one of your albums. I once heared in the radio but I’m not sure about the composer. Thanks a lot.
Submitted by: Mariona
Hello Mariona! Happy Holidays and thank you very much for writing. You will have much better luck ordering the CD from one of my online distributors than trying to find it in the store. I would recommend CD Baby. You can get to any of my online distributors on my website by going to the “Order the Album” page. I do have a piece with “you” in the title. The piece is called “Imagine that you are Light,” and it’s on the album “Like Setting Myself on Fire.” It is also on a compilation CD distributed by CD Baby. I hope this helps you! Thank you for helping my music get all the way to Spain! Take care, Tom
During your clinic at Robert Morris College, you said that the tambourine is your favorite instrument. What is your reason why?
Submitted by: Stephanie
Chicago, IL (9/13/2004)
Hi Stephanie! Thank you for your question. I would say it’s one of my favorite instruments! The tambourine has a deceivingly simple appearance and application in today’s music. It is rarely ever an instrument that you would think would be featured, much less soloed upon. I enjoy getting the most out of my instruments, and the tambourine lends itself to just that. Considering the different tones that can be manipulated out of the skin, all the ways the jingles can be shaken or spun, and the many ways to strike the drum, the tambourine offers many different sound and visual possibilities. To me, it is more fun to figure out all the cool things that can be done with one small instrument than on a keyboard with thousands of different sounds at your disposal (though that is fun too!). Hope that helps! 🙂 Tom
Hey Tom, Thanks so much for giving us a concert in February at OHS!! I really like your music and I listen to the cd a lot. I heard you’re going to be in Chicago tonight-I really wish I could go, but it’s my dad’s 50th birthday so I can’t. I’m a really big fan of yours though and I was wondering if you are working on a new cd. Hope I can see you in concert again soon!
Submitted by: Shanna
Hi Shanna! It was a pleasure performing for you. I’m glad you are enjoying the CD. I am currently working on new music, and just released a limited edition DVD available at concerts that has some new works on it. I will keep you posted on my future releases and hope to see you at a concert! Take care, Tom
Dear Tom, I saw you perform in California. It was amazing! I have never really seen anybody play like that before. My Dad owns a studio, so we were able to get passes for the weekend. I bought your CD and really like it – especially tracks 4,5, and 6. I love how that all runs together! I was wondering – you played a piece on the marimba at the concert that I don’t hear on the CD. Can you tell me what the name of that piece was and do you have it available to buy somehow? Also, any plans to come back to California?? Thanks, Jennifer
Submitted by: Jennifer
Orange County, California (4/18/2004)
Hi Jennifer! Thanks so much for all the kind words! I’m glad I had the chance to perform for you in California at the NAMM Show. The piece you are referring to is called “Boundless.” Right now I am only performing it as a live piece, so no recording is currently available to purchase. Due to the visual nature of that piece and some of my others, we are talking about the next release being a DVD, so please check back for updates! As far as coming back to California, I don’t have any immediate plans, but I never know what wonderful places my music will take me next, so it is very possible I will be back! Take care, Tom
I just want to thank you for your presentation at Robert Morris College last evening. I did not have the opportunity to talk to you after class but I want you to know I really enjoyed it. Your website is very impressive. It was a pleasure meeting you and being introduced to your music and talent. Could you please put me on your e-mail list and let me know where you are performing in the future? Thanks again.
Submitted by: Nancy
Hi Nancy! I’m glad you enjoyed the presentation. It was my pleasure being there! I’ll keep you posted on my future events. Take care! Tom
Hey Tom! I saw your performances at OHS. I was just wondering in what stores I can go to purchase your CD? I was very inspired by your performances! You are a wonderful musician and thank you for sharing your talents with us! Hope to hear from you soon! Chrissy
Submitted by: Chrissy
Hi Chrissy, Thank you so much for the kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed my music! You may try any of the major CD stores for a copy of my CD. It is sometimes hard to find, as it shows up in World, New Age, or Rock, and of course some stores carry more copies than others. The easiest and cheapest way to get the CD is to order it directly from my website using Paypal, which is safe and secure. My team will process the oreder immediately and have it in the mail the next day. Plus I will include an autographed photo. Other online distributors include Amazon.com, Borders.com, TowerRecords.com, and CDbaby.com Thanks again Chrissy! Tom
Hi Tom, My mom and sister went to your concert two nights ago, and brought home your CD. I really liked the song, “A Legacy.” I was wondering if it will be available for purchase in a piano solo? Thanks in advance for your answer. Lindsey
Submitted by: Lindsey
Hi Lindsey! I’m glad you like “A Legacy.” Currently I have 3 pieces available in sheet music form. “Now is the Time” for piano solo, and “All that is Seen and Unseen” and Bring Me Back Her Heart” for percussion ensemble. I have been planning on making “A Legacy” available for piano solo, though, so please check back soon! Thanks Lindsey! Tom
Hi Tom! My name is Krista……you performed for us today…..VERY COOL, might I add. I have a few questions for you, if you don’t mind: How many years did it take for you to get to where you are today? Have you ever made a decision that required you to risk a lot? Thank you so much for taking time to perform for us, you taught us a lot, and you’re an inspiration to many of our band members. You’re all they talked about all day. I’ll see you at your concert! Thanks again, Tom!!
Submitted by: Krista
Hi Krista! Thanks for writing and for the kind words! To answer your first question, I have studied and loved music since I was very young. I believe that where I am today is a culmination of all the education and experience that I have received in many different musical environments – from having supportive parents and music in my home, to my classical training in college, performing with orchestras, jamming with bands, and simply taking the time to listen to music and appreciate what a wonderful gift it is to all of us. To answer your second question, I always trust my instincts when it comes to the decisions I make regarding my music. The path of an artist is often a different one than most, so I don’t worry if other people don’t understand. The biggest risk is NOT pursuing your life’s path, or putting a time limit on how long you will attempt a career in the arts before you try something else. Being an artist is something you are, not something you do. I’ve been very grateful for the gifts I’ve been given and feel that sharing my music with others is an important and very necessary part of my life, so I’ve never thought of that as a risk! Thank you for your questions Krista! Tom