Tom Hillary

Born and raised in Bolton, Lancashire; Tom began his musical journey at the young age of six. Being an active member of Bolton Music Service, he first started to learn drum kit under the direction of Richard Hughes. Grasping the basics of playing Percussion; Tom began to perform in ensembles such as Bolton Beginner Brass Band and Bolton Beginner Percussion Ensemble. At age eleven, Tom began studying at St Joseph’s R.C High School, Horwich; Studying Drum Kit for four years under the guidance of Sam Packwood, achieving Grade 8 in Drum kit at the age of fifteen. Until the age of fourteen, Tom progressed through the Brass Band and Percussion System at Bolton Music Centre until he reached Bolton Youth Brass Band and Bolton Youth Percussion Ensemble, tutored by Daniel Baxendale, Gary Watton and Musical Director, Helen Minshall.

In 2013, Tom began his studies at Pendleton Sixth Form Centre, Salford; studying a variety of A-levels including Music as well as an additional BTEC in Music Performance under Neil G Bennett, Paul Williams, Dickon-Kyme Wright and Claire Thackeray. In the summer of 2013, he successfully auditioned for the Greater Manchester Youth Brass Band, directed by Mark Peacock. 2013 was the year that Tom joined his first contesting band; Hoover Band Bolton. Shortly after joining, he soon became the Principal Percussionist of the then First Section band, directed by Trevor Halliwell.

In 2013, Tom began to specialise in Orchestral Percussion and Timpani and soon joined Bolton Symphony Orchestra. He was granted the opportunity to study privately under the tuition of renowned Percussionist, Andrea Vogler, for a period of three years. Under Andrea’s excellent teaching, Tom achieved Distinction in his ABRSM Grade 8 Percussion exam, and successfully auditioned for the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, directed by Dane Lam, Simon Emery and Vasily Petrenko. Under the guidance of Graham Johns, Tom held the percussion seat for three years. In 2015, after a period of movement between bands such as Pemberton Old Wigan and Hebden Bridge, Tom joined Championship Section band, Wingates Band. Tom was the Principal Percussionist of Wingates Band for two years.

In 2016, Tom successfully auditioned for a place to study BMus(Hons) in Orchestral Percussion and Timpani at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester; Under the tuition of Simone Rebello, Liz Gilliver, Ian Wright, Paul Patrick, Birger Sulsbruck and Dave Hassell. During his first term at the RNCM, Tom was offered the fantastic opportunity to join the world famous Black Dyke Band, an offer that he could not turn down.

Percussion