Tom Hojnacki – Music Director, Community Chorus Director, Piano Faculty Member
A versatile musician equally at home with classical, jazz and popular music, Tom performs regularly as a pianist and keyboardist. He has worked with the national touring productions of A Chorus Line, Altar Boyz, Rock of Ages, Matilda and Beautiful!–the Carole King Musical. He worked on the musical staff of the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University for the premiere of the pre-Broadway run of the musical Finding Neverland. He has served as music director for dozens of theatrical productions–musicals, opera and ballet. He has appeared with the Prague Radio, Claflin Hill, Plymouth Philharmonic and New Bedford Symphony Orchestras as jazz pianist and orchestral keyboardist and also as a chamber musician in performances of music of Beethoven, Brahms, Copland, Ewazen, Schubert, Bartok, Hindemith, Hojnacki, Messiaen and Shostakovich.
As a jazz pianist he has shared the stage with saxophonists Jimmy Giuffre, Billy Pierce, Joe Lovano and George Garzone. He has also worked with the John Allmark Jazz Orchestra, the Kenny Hadley Big Band, Brass Attack, the Cab Calloway Orchestra , the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra and with the singers, Al Martino, Robert Goulet, Amanda Carr and Aretha Franklin. In October 2013 he took part in the Stravinsky Celebration at Berklee by performing Don Sebesky’s arrangement of the Rite of Spring with seminal jazz-fusion guitarist Larry Coryell.
In 2001 he conducted performances of Kurt Weill’s Lady in the Dark with Opera Boston at the Cutler Majestic Theater with baritone, Richard Conrad and mezzo-soprano, Delores Ziegler. From 2001-2015 he was the composer-in-residence and guest conductor of the Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra. He has led the orchestra in complete concert opera performances of Puccini’s Tosca and Bizet’s Carmen; performances of works by Barber, Bernstein, Copland, Dvorak, Ellington, Jiri Gemrot, Gershwin, Glinka, Grieg, Roy Harris, Jonathan Bailey Holland, Mozart, Mussorgsky, Rossini, Sibelius, Smetana, Stravinsky, Tchaikovsky, Verdi and Wagner; as well as performances of his own orchestral compositions: New Orleans March, Concerto for Orchestra: Toccata, Tango and ‘Toons, Angels and Demons, The River Runs/ The Mountains Rise and Symphonies no. 1 and 2.
An award winning composer (Telly, GEMA), Tom has written more than 50 works for ensembles of diverse size and instrumentation. Recent commissions include How Many in Your Quartet, Mr. Brubeck? an arrangement of Dave Brubeck’s music for the Hartford Symphony Horn Quartet, a setting of Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky for the New World Chorale, Passion Renewed for the Boston String Quartet, Excursions and Diversions for the LLT Piano Trio, Melisande, Crook’s Alley, Embraceable…You!, and Lucky for the Berklee Faculty Big Band, a Sonata for ‘cello and piano, In [Just] Spring for violin, clarinet and piano for the Claflin Hill Chamber Musicians, the sonata The Stars for pianist Stella Owen, and a new art song collection–Songs for Jack.
In addition to his work as a composer and performer, Tom Hojnacki is also a theorist specializing in the jazz and popular song repertories. He is the co-author of the Berklee Book of Jazz Harmony available through Berklee Press/Hal Leonard. He has co-authored two on-line courses in Music Theory and Composition for Berklee Media’s Online School.
Tom Hojnacki holds degrees in both classical music and jazz from the New England Conservatory of Music. He has taught at Dean College, the New England Conservatory of Music, and the Berklee College of Music in Boston where he taught from 1999-2022. At Berklee, he served from 2007-2015 as Assistant Chair of Harmony and from 2015 until his retirement from academia in 2022 as the Assistant Chair of Harmony and Jazz Composition.
A new central Massachusetts resident he is happy now to be involved with Apple Tree Arts as its music director.
At Apple Tree Arts, Tom teaches piano and voice, the Apple Jam Blues and Jazz Improvisation Workshop and conducts the ATA Community Chorus.