NCMTA Commissioned Composers


Composer Commissioning Program

MTNA is dedicated to encouraging the creation of new works by American composers and annually assists affiliated state associations in the generation and performance of new music through the national composer commissioning program. Each year one state commissioned composer is selected to receive the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year Award.

Tom L. Lohr

Tom L. Lohr has been an Instructor of Piano at Meredith College since 1979, where he teaches piano, both in the college’s music department and within the College’s Community School of Music. Additionally, he has taught composition, keyboard, choral arranging, music theory seminars and a course that combines the history of the visual and musical arts.  Mr. Lohr has served as the Director of the Meredith College School of Music (the non-credit division of the Department of Music) but will relinquish those duties soon to spend more time on other music projects. For thirty-five years he has coordinated the summer piano camp, beginners' piano camp, middle school composition camp, intensive piano camp and high school theory camp.  Former students of his have earned degrees from such noted schools as Indiana University, the Julliard School and Boston Conservatory. 

As a composer, Mr. Lohr has written works for performers of various media including piano and piano four-hands.  A selection of works includes a one-act opera, The Practical Heart (1998), Biblical Songs (1999), Songs from the Bible (2000-2001), Songs of the Indian Spirit (1999), and Improvisation, a solo piano piece written in September 2002, for the Tour of Historic Steinway Pianos.  During the summer of 2004, Mr. Lohr composed eleven solo piano pieces for the Raleigh Piano Teachers Association for use as competition pieces in that organization’s Young Artist Auditions.  The pieces were written to mark the 50th anniversary of the Raleigh Piano Teachers Association as well as the 25th anniversary of the Young Artist Auditions, both of which were observed in 2005.  All of these works, and others, are available through Shelkins Music Publishing Company.* Also in 2004, Mr. Lohr received a commission to compose a work, Suite for Strings, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Lamar Stringfield Music Camp.  Another commemorative piece is Festive Concert Overture which he wrote for the 20th anniversary of the Philharmonic Association (PA) in Raleigh.  The work premiered at the opening concert of the Triangle Youth Philharmonic’s 20th anniversary season (2008-09) and was repeated in their alumnae celebration concert at the close of the season.  Five years later, Lohr was again commissioned to write another work for the PA for their 25th anniversary.  This work was recorded by WCPE-FM Radio and was broadcast later that year. During 2010, Lohr wrote two new solo piano pieces for a lecture-recital (2011) at Davidson College.  These two pieces, joined with the Improvisation from 2002 to form a set entitled Tributes. The three pieces are tributes to the composers Debussy, Bartok and Ginastera.  A new set of works produced in 2013, Meditations and an Exaltation on Medieval Melodies, is the most recent collection for solo piano.  This set of pieces uses six medieval tunes as the basis for each of the six pieces.  In 2014 Lohr wrote Concertino for Piano and Orchestra for the Meredith College Sinfonietta.  He premiered that work as piano soloist with the Sinfonietta in October with Jim Waddelow conducting.  Currently, Mr. Lohr is working on a large-scale setting of the mass for choir and instrumental ensemble. 

Mr. Lohr is active in both the Raleigh Piano Teachers Association and the North Carolina Music Teachers Association (NCMTA).  He has served as an officer in both of these organizations and was a presenter in the 2005 Fall Conference of NCMTA where Mr. Lohr presented a lecture-recital on many of his solo piano works.  In 2012 he again presented a session at the Fall Conference of NCMTA on his collection of pieces entitled Numbers.  Four of those pieces were on the NCMTA Contest-Festival list that year (2012-13).  He has served twice as the Vice Chair of the Piano Section and Chair of Theory/Composition of NCMTA.  Mr. Lohr, a long-time member and former president of the Gamma Mu chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda, is also an honorary member of the Beta Zeta chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.

*Works are available through Allen Herther Music at or (919) 872-7760. 

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