Pronounced: "Pie-Ball" (Like something you might use in a food fight)
“We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion.” -Robin Williams as John Keating, Dead Poet’s Society
“Thomas Pibal is a young man of character who strongly holds to his principles. He is unique almost to the point of vagabond; he detests mornings, he is steadfast, and his communication style is short and to the point.” -Dr. Arthur Johnson, Thomas’ piano teacher of 8 years
Thomas Pibal eats, breathes and lives music, although sometimes he eats bacon and breathes air, too. Thomas plays 26 instruments, has a different hairstyle every day and lives to connect with, edify and inspire people through the amazing and transcendent art of organized sound.
Thomas has worked as the staff accompanist at Lakeland University and Silver Lake College, the rehearsal accompanist for the Sheboygan Symphony Chorus, the choir director at the University of Wisconsin - Fond Du Lac, band and choir director at Sheboygan Lutheran High School, interim choir director at Kiel High School and lounge pianist in residence at the Hotel Retlaw of Fond Du Lac.
As a student, Thomas was a co-recipient of Lakeland College's "Outstanding Overall Music Student" award. While a member of Appleton based band “The Electra Color,” they were nominated for the Wisconsin Area Music Industry's "Best New Band" award in 2015. Thomas was nominated for the WAMI's "Keyboard Player of the Year" award in 2016. While he was a member of Unity the band during 2020-2021 the band received the WAMI award for “Artist of the Year 2020.” In 2017 Thomas wrote and produced his first soundtrack for a short film that was part of the Madison 48 hour film festival. The writing, recording and editing for the score all took place in the space of one day. The film received the award for "Best Original Score" and was runner up for the title of best overall film at the local festival.
In 2011 Thomas released his first album of original music and he continues to write, record, produce and release music from his home studio. Thomas is a friend and former treasurer of the Michibago Music Teachers Association and teaches private piano, voice, guitar, bass and percussion lessons in the Sheboygan Area. Thomas performs regularly as a solo entertainer and lounge pianist, performs with his band The Thomas Pibal Trio: www.thomaspibal.com and is also the drummer for the jazz combo Jive Safely: www.jivesafely.com Thomas also works as a freelance accompanist for various high schools and theatre companies among other clients, and has also filled the role of rehearsal accompanist, music/vocal director, pit director and sound designer for several musicals.
Thomas began his musical journey at age six at the piano and his first piano teacher, Kathy Fee, told his mother that he was one of the fastest-learning students she had ever taught. After several years of piano lessons, Thomas decided he wanted to quit studying music. Fortunately his frustration with method books swiftly led him to discover the music of Scott Joplin and soon after learning pieces like "The Entertainer" and the "Maple Leaf Rag" around the age of thirteen, Thomas realized music was a part of his life that he couldn't live without.
Thomas Pibal is an eagle scout and when he was fourteen years old his scoutmaster was in an accident where he lost his right arm. Thomas rallied together musicians from the community whom he met playing at an open mic and networking around the area for a benefit concert that raised over $11,000 for his scoutmaster's family.
Around the time of the benefit concert, Thomas developed tendonitis in one of his thumbs from over-practice. It was at this time that he began studying piano with Dr. Arthur Johnson who was a professor at the nearby Lakeland University (then Lakeland College). Dr. Johnson forced Thomas to abandon all piano practice save one or two mind-numbing and very exacting technique exercises for a period of nine months in order to completely re-train his piano technique. Thomas studied with Dr. Johnson for 8 years and also studied piano, voice, guitar and percussion with a significant amount of instruction from Glenn Zeinemann, Brian Augustine, Karen Schmall, Mike Slupski, Michael Ammons, Joelle Barrett, David Hein, Janet Herrick and Dan Fee.
Thomas was homeschooled for much of his childhood but also attended multiple public schools and graduated from a public charter school in Sheboygan, WI. After graduating from high school Thomas attended Lakeland University pursuing a degree in music. Thomas graduated from Lakeland College (Now Lakeland University) on May 4th, 2014 with a bachelor of fine arts degree with an emphasis on vocal performance and pedagogy.
As of this writing Thomas is 30 years old. Thomas’ daughter Eleanor was born in 2017. Thomas lives in Sheboygan, WI with his wife Justina and daughter Eleanor and enjoys spending any time he is not making music with his family and friends.