Thomas Kociela, Music Director and Conductor

Thomas Kociela portraitThomas Kociela is Music Director of the Rhode Island College Symphony Orchestra and the Parkway Concert Orchestra. He is also the Resident Score Reader and Video Director at the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Previously, Thomas was Assistant Conductor of the Temecula Valley Symphony and Music Director of the Temecula Valley Youth Symphony in California.

As a performer, Thomas was a substitute musician with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) for seven years. He has shared the stage with conductors and artists such as Bernard Haitink, Michael Tilson Thomas, Yo-Yo Ma, Michelle DeYoung, David Robertson, Sir James Galway, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Sir Mark Elder, and Sir Patrick Stewart. Thomas traveled to Carnegie Hall on tour with the CSO three times, performing under Pierre Boulez and CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti. While in Chicago, Thomas was the Assistant Conductor at the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, and he conducted ensembles at the University of Chicago and the Chicago High School for the Arts.

Thomas earned a master’s degree in conducting from the New England Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree in performance and music education from the Chicago College of Performing Arts. He currently studies conducting with Neil Thomson and has pursued additional studies and masterclasses with conductor pedagogues Neil Varon, Victor Yampolsky, Cristian Măcelaru, Robert Franz, Markand Thakar, David Jacobs, Erin Freeman, and Donald Schleicher.

More information about Thomas can be found on his website: