Hailed as "The Master" by Saxophone Journal magazine and whose articles are described as "Always Insightful" by the International Trumpet Guild Journal, Dr. Thomas R. Erdmann is Director of the Elon University Symphony Orchestra. He holds degrees from The University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign (D.M.A.), Illinois State University (M.M.), and The State University of New York at Fredonia (B.M.P., B.M.E.). Erdmann has been featured in two books. The first is Trumpet Greats: A Biographical Dictionary by David Hickman, Michel Laplace, Edward H. Tarr (published by HME). The book includes biographies of important trumpeters since 1542 - the date of the invention of the precursor to the modern trumpet. The book presents only the most significant soloists, orchestra players, jazz musicians, instrument designers and manufacturers, teachers, historians, authors, band and chamber players, studio and freelance artists, etc., from the founding days of the modern trumpet until today. In all musicians from 64 different countries are represented. The second is The Mastery of Music, Ten Pathways to True Artistry by Barry Green (published by Broadway - Doubleday Books). Erdmann, along with fellow trumpeters Doc Severensen (jazz soloist), Clark Terry (jazz soloist), John Copola (studio musician), George Graham, (studio musician), Maria Speziale (Cincinnati Symphony/Rice University), Phil Collins (Cincinnati Symphony), Andrew McCandless (Toronto Symphony/Dallas Symphony), Susan Slaughter (St. Louis Symphony), Barbara Butler (Northwestern University), Vincent Cichowicz (formerly Chicago Symphony), Michael Sachs (Cleveland Orchestra), Charles Schlueter (Boston Symphony), John Wallace (United Kingdom soloist), and John Miller (United Kingdom Manchester School), is a featured interviewee.
Dr. Erdmann is Elon's most published author with over 200 articles published in journals as diverse as Currents in Musical Thought, Journal of the Conductors Guild, Jazz Player, Saxophone Journal, Women Of Note Quarterly, WomenArts Quarterly Journal, and The International Trumpet Guild Journal, to name a few. In addition, he has published over 300 reviews of compact discs, books and music in a wide variety of journals, magazines and newspapers. Currently Dr. Erdmann writes front cover articles for Saxophone Journal magazine, is on the staff of JazzReview.Com and serves as the Jazz Editor of the International Trumpet Guild Journal. Dr. Erdmann is the author of three books (the first, An Annotated Bibliography and Guide To The Published Trumpet Music Of Sigmund Hering, was published in 1997, his second, Problems and Solutions in Band Conducting, was published in early 2001 and has already gone into a second printing, and his third, How Jazz Trumpeters Understand Their Music, was published in 2010) and the editor of two books of posthumously published trumpet etudes by Sigmund Hering published by Carl Fischer Inc. (Double and Triple Tonguing, A Complete Approach for the Trumpet, and Studies on Ornamentation for Trumpet). He is past Jazz CD reviewer for the Monterey County Weekly newspaper in California.
Dr. Erdmann held the position of Principal Trumpet with the Illinois Symphony and Second Trumpet with the Vermont Symphony. He is also the only two-time Chair of the world's only international trumpet jazz improvisation competition, the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Improvisation Competition. Dr. Erdmann is also a pianist — having worked with Phyllis Diller and Mark Preston — and an adjudicator / clinician and conductor who has performed and conducted throughout the East and Midwest regions of the United States.