B i o g r a p h y

Dr. Tommy Dobbs is the Instructor of Music - Percussion at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, Treasurer for the Arkansas Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), and a member of the PAS University Pedagogy Committee. He received his Doctor of Music and Master’s of Music degrees in Percussion Performance from the Florida State University, and his Bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance from the University of North Florida.

An active performer and educator, Tommy has performed recitals and given master classes at universities and secondary schools throughout the United States and abroad. Tommy is currently the Principal Percussionist for the Fort Smith Symphony; a member of Duo Breedlove, an Arkansas based saxophone and percussion duo; and a member of Wind and Wood, an Arkansas based clarinet and percussion duo. During the 2019/2020 season, he looks forward to Presenting a clinic entitled "Accessory After The Fact: How To Prevent Criminal Sounds Within Your Percussion Section" at The Midwest Clinic in Chicago as well as several College Music Society and NACWPI Conference Performance and, by the summer 2020, the release of a solo album of all commissioned works and a duo album with Dr. Andrew DeBoer (Clarinet). All recordings will be engineered by Garnet House Productions and released on their label. 

He has performed and presented at conferences such as The College Music Society (International, National, and Regional), the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Conferences (International and National), the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Various Day of Percussion Conferences, The World Saxophone Congress in Croatia, the International Navy Saxophone Symposium, Various College Band Directors National Association Regional Conferences, and various American Bandmasters Association Regional and National Conferences. Currently, he is a member of the College Music Society (CMS), the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association (ASBOA), NACWPI, and the Percussive Arts Society (PAS).

Previous appointment include: serving as Acting Principal Percussionist for the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra (Florida) and Principal Timpanist for Sinfonia Gulf Coast (Florida) in 2013/2014 as well as section percussion/assistant timpani for the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Georgia Coastal Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Tallahassee Ballet, and Sinfonia Gulf Coast. He was also the recipient of the prestigious EMF Percussion Internship with The Eastern Music Festival, where he performed as Section Percussionist in the 2014 EMF Festival Orchestra under Gerard Schwarz.

In 2014, he performed in Carnegie Hall as a member of What Is Noise, a cutting-edge new music ensemble dedicated to the music of living American composers. Previously, in 2008, he performed in Carnegie Hall with the University of North Florida's Wind Ensemble. Tommy was a member of the Florida State University Percussion Ensemble in 2011, when the group won the Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble Competition, and he can be heard on the ensemble's most recent recording, Volume Two: Not Far From Here.  Other recording credits include Omar Carmenates’ critically acclaimed The Gaia Theory on New Zealand's Rattle Records, Adam Silverman's Percussion Music on Calabaza Records and the soon to be released, The John Psathas Group Vol. 1 and Vol.2 on Rattle Records.

An active champion of new music, he has premiered and/or commissioned works by Per Andreasson, Adam Silverman, John Psathas, Ivan Trevino, Marc Mellits, Nathan Daughtrey, Brett Dietz, Luis Rivera, Benjamin Fraley, Jamie Whitmarsh, Frank Pesci, William Funk, and Michael Taylor.

As a professor, Tommy’s students have been accepted to reputable music programs across the United States, including Florida State University, The Eastman School of Music, the University of North Texas, University of Texas in Austin, University of South Carolina, and the University of North Florida. His students have also held positions in various All-County, All-Region, and All-State Bands as well as attended festivals such as the Eastern Music Festival, the Leigh Howard Stevens Marimba Seminar, and the Bob Becker Xylophone Soloist Seminar. Recent student successes include Justin Ball, UAFS Senior Percussionist, placing 1st in the Great Plains International Marimba Competition and Christopher Ha, UAFS Alumni (15') appointed as the Assistant Director of Bands at Kimmons Junior High in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

He is a proud endorser of Pearl/Adams Instruments, SABIAN Cymbals, Grover Pro Percussion, and Innovative Percussion Inc.

Copyright 2020
Photography by Brenda Yelvington