Tom Bourcier is an instrumentalist and composer who takes great curiosity in the endless possibilities regarding musical creation. This eclecticism is apparent in his work both as a performer and composer. For 25 years Tom has chosen piano as his main instrument, performing in jazz, classical, rock, folk and blues, avant-garde, and improvisational genres. As a professional musician Tom has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean, performing with and backing up musicians and acts such as the Dirty Dozen Band, Dizzy Gillespie, Jim Schwall of the Siegal-Schwall Band, Buddy Rich, Donald O'Connor, comedian David Brenner, Debbie Reynolds, and Jack Jones.
In addition to composing for traditional instrumentation, Tom has been inspired to perform accordion, harmonica, guitar, percussion, synthesizers, and found-object instruments in his compositions for dance, musical theatre, dramatic theatre, and musical dressage. His compositional philosophy centers on the exploration of timbre in sound and the use of atmosphere to convey a storyline, and relies heavily on interart collaboration and nontraditional performance techniques.
Upon completion of the Master of Music degree at WesternMichiganUniversity in Kalamazoo under the mentorship of Ramon Zupko, Tom served as Music Director/Assistant Professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Illinois. From 1991-96, Tom developed curriculum in electronic music composition and premiered 17 original compositions in Illinois Dance Theatre and Illinois Repertory Theatre productions. As an educator, his essay To Splice or Not to Splice was published in the annual journal of the International Guild of Musicians in Dance and his paper Electronic Music Composition for Dancers was presented at the Conference on Dance and Technology at Simon-FraserUniversity in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Since 1996, Tom has been active as an educator and performer with Black Earth Collaborative Arts Company, a nonprofit corporation co-founded with movement theatre artist Jane Hawley. He also teaches Improvisation, directs the Jazz Band and Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and is assisting in the creation of a jazz curriculum at LutherCollege in Decorah, Iowa, where he resides with Jane and their four boys.