Biography

Thomas  Benko began studying percussion at age 9 taking drumset lessons from Greg Kulma and playing in all school ensembles offered.   Thomas attended Lake Park High School and was a member of the Lake Park Lancer Marching Band from 2003 to 2006.  During his time at Lake Park, the band won state in 2003 as well as two Illinois Class 6A drum titles in 2003 and 2004, coming in 2nd in 2005 and 2006. Thomas spent the summers of 2007, 2008, 2010 with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps and was also a member of the NorthCoast Academy Indoor Percussion Ensemble in 2008. Thomas graduated from Northern Illinois University with a degree in Percussion Performance.  While at NIU, Thomas participated in the Philharmonic, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Pep Band, Percussion Ensemble and was the drumset player for the NIU World Steel Band.

Currently, Thomas co-directs Lake Park High School’s percussion program along side percussionist Joe Roach.  These responsibilities include teaching the drumline, directing the percussion ensemble and tutoring private students.   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 Man specifically with their drumming abilities.  Thomas also performs with the Chicago Bears Drumline at most home games and Bears related corporate events.

Thomas is a part of the Innovative Percussion Education team and a member of Percussive Arts Society.

Thomas has studied with many great teachers including: Tom Aungst, Greg Beyer, Robert Chappell, Rich Holly, Brent Montgomery, Mike Chiodo, Jesse Willis, Brian Hanley, Greg Kulma, Matt Stein, Liam Teague, Cliff Alexis, Bret Khun, and Jeff Quay.

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