Published: Dec. 16, 2022 By

Tom Myer working with studentAfter 34 years’ dedicated service, Associate Professor of Saxophone Professor Tom Myer retired in May 2022. As the year draws to a close, we caught up with him to gain his career reflections and advice … and what he’s up to now: 

What experience are you most proud of, during your career at CU Boulder?
In 1992, we brought a saxophone ensemble—even the bass saxophone—to the World Saxophone Congress in Pesaro, Italy. The ensemble premiered a piece by former College of Music faculty member Luis Gonzalez. I also played a short recital in which I premiered works by former College of Music colleagues Joe Lukasik and Richard Toensing. The concert was very well attended and well received, and I was proud to represent CU Boulder.

What trends or culture shifts did you observe over the course of your career, and what’s your career advice to students today?
I always told my students that I don’t consider myself talented at all—I just worked really hard. So when students follow what they are truly passionate about, I have always supported that. I’m equally proud of my students who have found careers outside of music. 

You never know where music will take you, but dedication and hard work will always pay off. And while the record industry has imploded, there are so many new opportunities now due to the internet and social media. I hope the College of Music continues to adapt to these changes.  

What’s the best thing about being retired? What are you up to these days?
I just returned from Spain. My dog is happy that I’m home a lot. I’ll continue to play gigs … and now I have time to really work on my table tennis game. 

When the pandemic hit and I was teaching remotely, I purchased a microphone and an interface. One thing led to another and I ended up building a recording studio in my basement. I’m learning a lot about composition and arranging, recording, editing, engineering, mastering, producing and distribution … all things that I should have learned a long time ago!

With gratitude, we congratulate Tom Myer on his well-earned retirement! 

Myer directed the college’s jazz studies program from 1988-95 and also taught at East Texas State University. He worked professionally for the Mingus Big Band, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Nelson Riddle, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Ice Capades and Disney World—and backed the likes of alumnus Dave Grusin, Kathleen Battle, Doc Severinson, Bob Hope, Lou Rawls, Natalie Cole, Nancy Wilson, Dionne Warwick, Dianne Carroll, Barbara Mandrel, Mel Torme, Ben Folds, Idina Menzel, Seal and many others. He also performed new saxophone works at the World Saxophone Congress in 1992 (Italy), 1997 (Spain) and 2003 (Minneapolis), and is credited with premiering John Harbison’s “Sonata” and David Maslanka’s “Concerto.” Myer has commissioned numerous classical and jazz pieces, and his recording “Harbison, San Antonio” was released on Albany Records; he can also be heard on Capri Records with the Fred Hess Sextet featuring Art Lande and Ron Miles, and he has recorded with Joel Kay’s Neophonic Jazz Orchestra. Myer earned a Master of Music in woodwind performance and jazz studies from North Texas State University, and an undergrad in music education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.