Master Of The Lowest Lows And Highest Highs

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Above photo: Fort Myers Florida Weekly, November 23, 2016

Even-tempered Tom Kracmer never spends time in the highs and lows. And yet, these are his two passions. As one of our longest-standing Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra members at 31 years, principal tubist Tom spends most of his time onstage laying down the lowest notes in the orchestra.

Raised in Chicago and securing a BM from Northern Illinois University, Tom returned to the states after taking off for a 9-year stint with an orchestra in Mexico—and a Bourbon Street nightclub gig!

After 42 years playing his German Alexander tuba, this season Tom changed to an Eastman tuba (fashioned after one used in the Chicago Symphony) and has really enjoyed trying something new. He enjoys performing locally with his Suncoast Brass Quintet and among so many memorable soloists and “the beautiful playing of my colleagues” at SWFLSO performances. Also, accompanying James Taylor a few years ago was a standout for him.

After a myriad of seasons loaded with performances, “this is the first time in my life that I haven’t had someplace to play, and it feels very odd!”

As the knowledgeable and generous owner of local music store institution Cadence Music since 1993, Tom has endeared himself to countless music students, parents and teachers. His selfless spirit and down-to-earth personality also landed him on the SWFLSO Board of Directors as an orchestra representative and on the symphony’s Education Committee, which supports our Youth Orchestra, Young Peoples’ Concerts and school ensemble presentations.

But not to be grounded by his bass instrument, in his “spare time” Tom took eight years to painstakingly handcraft a Van’s Aircraft RV-7A sport aerobatic airplane—even winning an outstanding aircraft award for home-built! Now hitting all the high notes, he has shared his love of aviation in his 2-seater plane with many lucky symphony patrons and also enjoys introducing young people to both music and aviation.

No autopilot for this performer…it’s good to know we have friends like Tom in high (and low) places!

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