Music Makers: Tom Pylinski

Music is in Tom Pylinski’s bones. The principal trombonist for the Canton Symphony Orchestra first picked up the instrument in the fourth grade, following in his brother, also a trombone player’s, footsteps.

Music is in Tom Pylinski’s bones. The principal trombonist for the Canton Symphony Orchestra first picked up the instrument in the fourth grade, following in his brother, also a trombone player’s, footsteps. His sister also picked up the instrument.

But Tom never put it down.

“I have a passion for it. I practiced my butt off and kept going,” he said.

He’s been playing the trombone for 23 years, through jazz ensembles, symphonic band and youth orchestras and into college at the Cleveland Institute of Music, then graduate school at the University of Akron.

He joined the Canton Symphony in 2007. Pylinski, 32, now plays trombone full-time.

For most musicians, unless they’re in a top-tier orchestra, that means playing in numerous positions, Pylinski said.

He’s also in the Akron Symphony Orchestra, the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and the Lancaster Festival Orchestra.

It’s a busy lifestyle, he said. “I’m very fortunate to have the work that I have. It’s very competitive. There’s a lot of aspiring trombone professionals.”

Pylinski’s work has led to “a lot of different awesome experiences playing in the orchestra,” he said. Last summer, he did a tour with Idina Menzel.

And he loves his job.

“You don’t feel like you’re working when you do something that you love to do,” he said.

Being in an orchestra affords you the opportunity to play new, exciting pieces and music and collaborate with great
musicians.

“There’s a lot of great talent in our area. That’s very inspiring,” he said.

Pylinksi, a native of Norwich, New York, lives in Munroe Falls with his wife, Janice, and 2-year-old son, Matthew. Janice also is a musician. She’s a musical therapist who plays bassoon, and Matthew has shown an early love for music too.

“We’ll see what happens,” Pylinski said. “I like to joke once in awhile that the instrument he’ll pick up is the stethoscope.”