On this episode I catch up with the extraordinary yet humble Tony Lymon. He is a polyglot of talents and interests who grew up in one of the poorest areas in the USA. I was so fortunate to know Tony and become his friend during college. I was a huge fan during his Jam-Rock phase with King Konga. This is a long one but there are so many gems to learn from Tony. We talk about race and classism. We also go in deep on high school band and its critical role in education. Tony's non traditional path to completing his education is also enlightening. To reward those who listen to the entire podcast Tony gave me permission to add a track from King Konga's album Something Good!
Check out the 2020 Virtual Reunion Performance of King Konga Here!
Tony Lyom is the former Assistant Director of Bands at Petal High School in Petal, Mississippi and currently is the co-music arranger/show designer for the Petal High School marching band. Tony is the director show designer for the Petal Indoor Percussion Theatre, a national WGI Percussion Scholastic World Finalist. He has twice been awarded the Outstanding Junior High Director of the Southeast Mississippi Band Directors Association and the 2008 Mississippi Bandmasters Association AE McClain Outstanding Young Band Director Award. Tony was also the Founder and Director of Eminence Indoor Percussion Ensemble, a regional and national WGI Open Class finalist and championship ensemble.
Tony holds a Bachelors degree in Music Education from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Certification in 3D Architectural Rendering from The 3D Training Institute of New York. He was a member and principal percussionist in the world renowned Southern Miss Wind Ensemble and Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra. While at Southern Miss, Tony was the percussion arranger for the Pride of Mississippi Marching Band and USM indoor percussion ensemble. Tony was also a member of the World Champion Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps (Bloomington, IN) from 1991-1993. In his three years of DCI experience, he won the DCI-Midwest Solo Timpani Champion and the 1994 Percussive Arts Society International Solo Timpani Award. Tony's original marimba composition "Of Thoughts and Thinking" has become a standard in percussion literature. The piece was most recently recorded by German percussion artist Cornelia Monkse on the CD "Marimba 2" and was featured in the French documentary film "Le Ciel."
After college, Tony pursued a professional performance career for eight years with the pop/rock band King Konga . While with King Konga, Tony toured the world selling out venues in nationwide. The group did a post September 11th USO tour for the US Military in Hawaii and South East Asia. The four-piece band gained critical acclaim reaching #81 on the AC Hot 100 Pop Charts with "Something Good." With a rare accomplishment by an independent band, King Konga captured the eyes and ears of many major record labels and the band went on to perform at Woodstock '99. Tony has also performed with The Mississippi Symphony, Mobile Opera, Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera and The Meistersingers Orchestral/Choral Ensemble.
Tony recently wrapped up a season as the sound designer for The Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps in 2018 and currently serves as Creative Designer for Pacific Crest Drum and Bugle Corps. He is the owner of Eidetic Creative, a multimedia creative designs solution business. He currently resides in Petal, Mississippi with his wife Emily and 13 year-old daughter Colette.