Robert James Tomasulo is currently the Director of Musical Activities at Bay Path where he directs the choral ensembles, teaches private piano and oversees the adjunct instrumental and vocal music faculty. Robert is a fast-rising composer, orchestrator, arranger, vocal coach, music director, conductor and educator with an extremely diverse musical background. A highly sought after music director, Robert has been a member of the music staff for over 50 musical productions in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. Recent music direction credits include collaborations with The Woodstock Playhouse, Playhouse on Park and The Ivoryton Playhouse. As an educator, Robert has worked at various educational institutions including Simsbury High School, Bristol Eastern High School, South Windsor High School, The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and The Hartt School Community Division. Robert hold a B.M. in Music Composition and a B.S.E. in Acoustical Engineering from the University of Hartford/Hartt School and is an active member of NaFME, ACDA, ASA, ASCAP and NATS.
Robert James Tomasulo was born on October 14th 1991 in West Islip, NY. He continued his adolescence on Long Island in the suburb of Bellmore, just 40 minutes outside of NYC.
As a toddler, Robert was a non-stop music making machine. At the age of 3, Robert could be found banging along on pots and pans to Billy Joel albums with his mother in the kitchen. A year or two later, Robert discovered his mother's old piano books from when she was a child and was instantly intrigued by the piano. He taught himself to read music (with the help of his patient mother) and was able to teach himself the whole book on his own. This is when his parents agreed that he needed a piano teacher.
Robert began studying with Cheryl Ross, a local piano teacher in Merrick, a town over from Bellmore. Ms. Ross introduced Robert to a diverse range of repertoire, further fueling his love and fascination of music. By 6th grade, Robert was playing Mozart and Beethoven Sonatas (including a performance of the classic K 545 Sonata at his 6th Grade graduation).
In 2004, Robert's parents informed him that he was to attend Holy Trinity Diocesan High School. Though Robert was discouraged he was not able to attend high school with all of his "town friends," being at Trinity had a tremendous influence on him as a musician. While at Trinity, Robert auditioned and was accepted to their prestigious theater program (recently recognized as one of the top high school theatre programs in the country) and was introduced to three life long mentors: Catherine Murphy (Dance Teacher), John Farrell (Choir Director) and Tyrone Jones (Band Teacher). Throughout his 4 years in the theater program at Trinity, Robert performed in countless productions and ensembles, continuing to drive his passion for not only music but the entire performing arts.
When the time had come to decide upon college, Robert was torn between studying the performing arts or engineering. With the help of his parents, Robert stumbled upon the University of Hartford's unique Acoustical Engineering and Music program, led by Dr. Bob Celmer. This program expertly combined both of Robert's interest and seemed to be the perfect fit. However, when Robert arrived at the University of Hartford, he instantly regretted not choosing to study and by his second semester he found himself enrolled as a music composition major at the Hartt School of Music (in addition to his engineering degree). While at Hartt, Robert studied piano with D. Paul Rutman, orchestration with Dr. Stephen Gryc, conducting with Dr. Matt Aubin, Theory/Ear Training with Dr. Michael Schiano and Gabor Viragh, and Composition with Dr. Gilda Lyons, Dr. Larry Alan Smith, Dr. David Macbride, Dr. Feng-Hsu Lee, and Dr. Tawnie Olson. Along with his studies, he was an active member of multiple pit orchestras, and took additional coursework in diction, vocal pedagogy, popular music, german, score reading, improvisation, and music production.
While at Hartt, Robert has had many exciting premieres. He composed and recorded (with a 6-7 piece jazz ensemble) the incidental music for the theater divisions production of Moss Hart's Light Up the Sky. He has premiered two large scale works for narration and orchestra, both setting famous poems to music (11' Twas the Night Before Christmas, 12' How the Grinch Stole Christmas). In 2012, Robert premiered a massive 20 minute Broadway Medley for the Greater New Haven Community Chorale (GNHCC) under the baton of Noah Blocker-Glynn and in 2013, he had his piece Take Two performed by the flute/guitar duo Hartt's 20/20 program (the premier chamber music program at Hartt). Most recently, he had his first chamber orchestra piece, Stalemate, read and recorded by the Hartford Independent Chamber Music Orchestra.
As if two degrees in 5 years was not enough, Robert continued to branch out at the University of Hartford. Upon acceptance into the premier all-male a cappella group, Hawkapella, in the first couple weeks of school and would later go on to be their director for the following 4 years. During his tenure as director, the group experienced a tremendous musical growth and made a firm transition into the social media realm, developing a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as an even bigger presence on YouTube. They hosted multiple guest groups each year and traveled extensively, including a 5 day tour of the Mid-Atlantic coast during their spring break. He is currently in the process of helping to release a CD of their most recent concert. (www.hawkapella.com)
As a freshman, Robert was also initiated into the Zeta Omega Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. While in the fraternity, he served as Music Director and Fraternity Education Officer. Robert coordinated the annual Disco Ball Fundraiser (with a live 26 piece orchestra w/ vocalists) for the past 4 years and conducted it for the past 3. He also assembled and directed a big band orchestra for a swing night fundraiser. Through the fraternity, Robert also premiered various arrangements and works at the many concerts organized by the brotherhood.
Beyond his studies, Robert discovered his passion for music directing the summer before he entered college, music directing his first show at a local community theater: Little Shop of Horrors. The following summer he music directed two more shows and accepted a job working as an Asst. MD/Orchestrator for a NYC Fringe show entitled Goldilocks and the Three Polar Bears. The show was written by Jerrod Bogard and Sky Seals and was Robert's first experience working with professional actors. From this point on, Robert began to develop a reputation as a first-rate music director - a reputation that has now followed him in both New York and Connecticut. For further information regarding Robert's experience as a music director, please consult his résumé here.
Currently, Robert resides in Hartford, CT and works full-time as the Director of Musical Activities at Bay Path University where he directs two choirs, teaches piano/voice and oversees the adjunct music faculty. Along with this position, Robert is a music director for Playhouse on Park, Ivoryton Playhouse, Woodstock Playhouse, Simsbury High School, and Bristol Eastern High School as well as a freelance pianist/organist and composer/arranger.
If you are interested in working with Robert, please contact him here!