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Tom Benko is a Northern Illinois University product studying with Robert Chappell, Greg Beyer, Liam Teague and Cliff Alexis. He spent three summers touring with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps and has performed with NorthCoast Academy Percussion Ensemble. Currently, Tom is the percussion specialist at Maine South High School where he teaches applied lessons, directs the percussion ensembles and teaches the percussion methods and application classes. He also performs with Blue Man Group Chicago at the Briar Street Theater as one of their drummers and is the Briar Street Theater Drum School Teacher helping develop new Blue Men specifically with their drumming abilities. His resume includes being a former member of the Chicago Bears Drumline and a current member of The Stampede - the Chicago Bulls percussion ensemble. With Minor Characters, a Chicago based indie rock band, Tom is in the process of releasing ‘We Can’t Be Wrong’ their sophomore LP, set to come out April 6th, 2018. Additionally, he plays with Aurora based folk-pop singer Kevin Presbrey as drummer and multi-instrumentalist. Alongside Kyle Johnson, he is a member of the electro- acoustic percussion duo, Clocktower. Clocktower has toured throughout their home state of Illinois as well as Indianapolis, Nashville, and Dallas giving educational performances and clinics for high schools and universities. As a soloist, Tom combines electrified hammered dulcimer, custom built instruments, hand held percussion, live looping and drum kit to create an eclectic blend of sounds for his solo material. Inspired by and promoting Chicago’s experimental and percussive music scenes, Tom created, curates and hosts Emanation. This live event music series and collective occurs bi-monthly at Century Mallet in the historic Deagan Music Building located in the Ravenswood neighborhood on Chicago’s northside. Tom is an Innovative Percussion Education artist, a Sabian Cymbals endorser, an Etymotic Signature Artist, and a member of Percussive Arts Society.
Joe Meland is a composer, producer, keyboardist, sound designer, audio engineer, teacher, et al.