Tommy Embrich (MM) is a freelancing percussionist, composer, and educator living in Columbia, SC. Engaging a wide range of musical pathways, he currently holds positions as percussion accompanist for the University of South Carolina Department of Theatre and Dance, and applied drum set lessons instructor for Columbia Arts Academy, Lexington School of Music, and Irmo Music Academy. He performs with funk-rock act Eight Track Parade, in addition to other independent projects throughout the Columbia region. As a solo artist, his independent percussion album Euneirophrenia was released in March 2020.
Being an experienced jazz drummer, he is fluent in a variety of genres and styles. He has performed as a drum set player with numerous jazz ensembles including the Schwob Jazz Orchestra- whom were recently featured at the 2018 Georgia Music Educators Association Conference in Athens, GA- as well as the SIU Jazz Orchestra, Schwob Jazz Sextet/Quintet/Quartet, ColaJazz, SIU Jazz Combos, Cavaliers Orchestra, Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and other independent collectives. With the Schwob Jazz Orchestra, he has premiered works by cutting-edge jazz composers Tyler Gilmore and Erik Applegate. These ventures have presented performances with a list of notable musicians including Charles McPherson, Dave Eggar, Head East, Andrea Giuffredi, Mike Williams, Amos Hoffman, Mark Rapp, Robert Gardiner, Calvin Edwards, Phillip Whack, Sam Skelton, Tito Carrillo, Kevin Whalen, Richard Kelley, Issac Lausell, Philip Brown, Bob Allison, among others.
In addition to playing jazz, he has performed and recorded with groups such as Eight Track Parade, Phuesis, The Mike Lynch Band, Impressions, MukDukn, LuKane, Living Word Fellowship Orchestra, Wynnbrook Baptist Church Orchestra, Tuckamores, and New Hedonists. Furthermore, he spent 3 seasons (2010-2012) with WGI world-class indoor drumline Freedom Percussion, serving as a founding member and drum set player.
Within the theater venue, he has performed on drum set in several musicals- Ragtime, Curtains, and The Addams Family with SIU Theater in Carbondale, Illinois, as well as The Little Mermaid and Newsies at the Springer Opera House in Columbus, Georgia.
In the summer of 2017 he made his film debut as a jazz drummer for the Bo Bartlett production titled "Things Don't Stay Fixed."
As a percussionist, Embrich has performed extensively with Long Bay Symphony, Carolina Wind Symphony, Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra, LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, Southern Illinois Music Festival Orchestra, Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Schwob Wind Ensemble, Schwob Philharmonic, Schwob Contemporary Ensemble, Schwob Percussion Ensemble, Schwob Trombone Ensemble, Columbus Ballet, Fort Benning Brass Band, SIUC Percussion Ensemble, SIUC Wind Ensemble, Southern Illinois Improvisation Unit, Southern Illinois West African Drumming Ensemble, and Altgeld Chamber Players. He has shared the stage with many guest artists such as Third Coast Percussion, Eric Mandat, Don Sinta Quartet, George Curran, Michelle Debruyn, Marianne Gythfeldt, Andrew Zohn, and Bolokada Conde.
Festival performances have included Music Under The Dome, Outside The Box Festival, Southeast Trumpet Festival, Southeast Trombone Symposium, College Music Society Conference, South Carolina Summer Dance Conservatory, Columbus DayLily Festival, Mayfest Arts Festival, and in 2016 he served as principal timpanist with the SIMF Orchestra, featuring the Southern Illinois Music Festival’s grand production of “William Tell in 1776.” In addition to the SJO, he also performed with the featured Schwob Wind Ensemble at the 2018 GMEA Conference in Athens, GA.
He has performed and recorded a number of world-premiere works with the Schwob Philharmonic, Schwob Wind Ensemble, SIUC Wind Ensemble, SIUC Percussion Ensemble, and Schwob Contemporary Ensemble. These premiere works include composers like John Link, Lawrence Axelrod, James Ogburn, Benjamin Hjertmann, and Stephen Goss.
Aside from performing, he has served as an applied percussion/drum set lessons instructor at the Schwob School of Music Preparatory Division, and AAA Swing City Music. Additionally, he has been frequently engaged as a percussion instructor with a number of high school programs including Collinsville High School, Crisp County High School, Columbus High School, and Carbondale Community High School.
Embrich received his Master's degree in percussion performance through a graduate assistantship position at Columbus State University, studying percussion/drum set under the knowledge of Dr. Paul Vaillancourt. He received his Bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, studying under the guidance of Professor Ron Coulter and Dr. Christopher Butler.
Tommy is a proud Endorsing Artist for Saluda Cymbals.