Tom Sherwood is the Principal Percussionist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. A native of Fairfax, Virginia, his musical career began at a young age when he discovered his father’s old drum set packed away in the garage. He graduated with his Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. A student of Tom Siwe, he was the youngest recipient of the Edgard Varese Memorial Scholarship. He went on to earn his Master of Music from Temple University, where he studied with Alan Abel (former Associate Principal Percussionist of the Philadelphia Orchestra). Tom made his solo debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in the 2004-2005 season, performing Tan Dun’s Concerto for Water Percussion and Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Robert Spano. For the past 11 years, Tom has also been regularly performing at the Grand Teton Music Festival. He can be heard with the ASO on Telarc and Deutsche Grammophon recordings.
In addition to his work with the Orchestra, Tom is a passionate advocate for contemporary music. For the past 8 years, he has been the Artistic Director and percussionist for Sonic Generator, a chamber ensemble specializing in the performance of modern electro-acoustical music.
Since 2008, Tom has been the director of the Modern Snare Drum Competition. An annual event hosted by the ASO, this unique competition attracts students from all over the country and has led to the creation of almost a dozen new works for the snare drum.
Prior to joining the ASO, he was a member of the prestigious New World Symphony, under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. An active teacher and clinician, Tom has presented master classes at Oberlin Conservatory, Columbus State University and the Northwestern Percussion Symposium, as well as the 2001 and 2003 Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. Tom is an endorser of Pearl Drums, Adams Musical Instruments, Freer Percussion and Zildjian.