B i o g r a p h i e s

Tom Lorenze - Saxophone

Tom started to play saxophone at the age of 13 when he started high school. He practiced all day long and his parents had to give him money to stop practicing to give them and the neighbors a break from the young saxophonist. By his second year, he was playing lead tenor in the school's dance band and it appeared as if he had a promising career as a musician. During this same time he played in a polka band and tried his hand at arranging music to suit the group. Unfortunately, his career ambitions were not realized due to unforeseen circumstances in his third year of high school.


After high school, Tom joined the U.S. Marine Corps and played in post bands through the the United States and far eastern countries. He continued to played tenor sax and added to his repertoire alto sax, and one of his favorites, the baritone sax while playing in the Paris Island Dance Band. He was inspired by the music of such greats as Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Lester Young, John Coltran, and Paul Desmond.


While serving in Vietnam he met Frank Sutton, Sgt Carter of Gomer Pyle, and toured with his band throughout Vietnam. He was fortunate to be on the same stage with Arthur Godfrey, Paul Revere and the Raiders, and numerous other recording artists at different USO venues.


During his last 3 months of military service, Tom made the decision to give up his ambition to be a musician. He subsequently worked at a Pittsburgh Bank for 41 glorious years and very rarely played his saxophone. In 2002, he decided to reacquaint himself with his horn and committed himself to serious practicing.

 

His first venue on the road to his musical comeback was in his Church Praise Band. Later, Tom joined the West Hills Symphonic Band at the encouragement of a well-known local musician. While he was playing in the West Hills Symphonic Band, several members persuaded Tom to join the Hopewell Community Big Band where he played with numerous musicians whose skill level motivated him to advance his level of play.