Like many good ideas, it all started on an obligatory road trip, headed home for Thanksgiving.
Tom Kociela and Bill Baxtresser met in the 8th grade when they attempted to perform Dvorak’s 8th symphony in the Livonia Youth Philharmonic. True collaborative genius didn’t strike, however, until twelve years later, Thanksgiving weekend 2010, when Tom and Bill shared a car ride from Chicago to their hometown of Farmington Hills, Michigan.
An avid music student since the moment Tom met his first trombone in Dave Drake's band class in 1996, he quickly figured out what teaching philosophies and resources were instrumental (excuse the pun) in his musical development, and which ones were an unintuitive, ineffective waste of time. By the time Tom started studying Music Education and Music Performance at Chicago’s Roosevelt University, he had dozens of innovative educational concepts germinating in his head, and itched to see them realized. But how? And when? And in what form, exactly?
Meanwhile, Bill studied Music Performance (specializing in trumpet) at Western Michigan University, and spent much of his time brainstorming ways to improve the recording process for all musicians. He knew there were big strides to be made, and over time began wondering, “How could a smarter, more streamlined, more specific approach to individual and orchestral recordings transform how a musician can improve, showcase, and market their skills? And what would that approach look like? And how could that kind of experience be created?”
Friends and respected fellow musicians became business partners as they explored these questions together, and pooled their separate experiences and musical intuitions to form the incomparable TKBB Press.
TKBB Presses’ first product, The Intonation Repair Tool, created in 2002, started as Tom’s personal improvement tool to improve his intonation without the need for a drone. Bill had always been critical of Tom’s intonation, and saw vast improvements, noting how it could surely be employed by others of all different levels to help them reach more confidence and excellence in refining intonation. The product’s initial launch gained a following of professional players and college studio teachers alike. Realizing it had even greater potential, Tom stopped selling it in 2004, as he prepared to showcase The IRT as the first product of an extensive music education company.
Since then, Tom and Bill have harnessed their wide range of performance and teaching experiences to provide new products and services to today and tomorrow’s finest musicians. TKBB Press takes tremendous pride in being lead innovators in the art, science, and social impact of music, and looks forward to continuing to evolve to meet the needs of their talented clientele.