Thomas Kociela, Music Director and Conductor

Thomas Kociela portraitThomas Kociela is currently Music Director of the Parkway Concert Orchestra and the Lowell Philharmonic Orchestra. He was most recently Assistant Conductor of the Temecula Valley Symphony in California and Music Director of the Temecula Valley Youth Symphony where membership more than doubled under his three year tenure.

From 2006-2013 Thomas was a substitute and extra musician with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO). He performed under world-class conductors including Bernard Haitink, Michael Tilson Thomas, James Conlon, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Sir Mark Elder, and David Robertson, among others—and accompanied artists like Yo-Yo Ma, Michelle DeYoung, Sir James Galway, Stefano Secco, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, 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. He also was the Assistant Conductor at the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras.

Thomas earned a master’s degree in conducting from the New England Conservatory of Music and a bachelor’s degree from the Chicago College of Performing Arts in trombone performance and music education.

He has pursued additional studies with conductor pedagogues Neil Varon, Victor Yampolsky, Cristian Măcelaru, Robert Franz, Markand Thakar, Erin Freeman, and Donald Schleicher.

More information about Mr. Kociela is available on his personal website,