About Freer Percussion Freer Percussion Products began operations in 1991 when I joined the Cleveland Orchestra and started making a few pairs of mallets here and there for students and friends. Now after licensing to other companies for the past ten years, I have made the decision to take a huge step forward by becoming my own independent company, Freer Percussion LLC.
This was an easy decision because my endorsers, colleagues and students are the ones that encouraged the change. It is quite a challenge to produce artisanal niche market products to exacting standards, but this kind of hand-made product is what has been missing in the market. From the viewpoint of a professional orchestra musician, these things are an absolute necessity. Having one of the world’s great orchestras, The Cleveland Orchestra as my full time job and test lab, is an invaluable privilege. While most stick companies are operating in the ‘throw-away-stick’ paradigm make a lot, make them cheap, sell a lot, wear them out and get them to buy more; we are doing the opposite, staying focused on sound and quality first.
We are going to take a new approach by making smaller quantities at an extremely high quality level that is strictly controlled from the minute it's assembled to the day it leaves our facility. All of our products are under our control at all times and never get drop shipped from anywhere. Therefore the sticks and mallets you receive are guaranteed to be factory fresh and have never been "picked through" by anyone anywhere. On the rare occasion where there is a return, that product is taken out of circulation and never recycled into stock. This is the kind of quality control our customers have demanded and I'm very excited to finally take advantage of the opportunity.
We have taken this opportunity to return to our fundamental roots that is making sticks, mallets and accessories, to the exacting standards of our customers that will last. It is our mission to produce more creative products of an extremely high quality with very strict quality control standards. The uniqueness and practicality of all Freer Percussion products evolve from my daily orchestral playing needs, as well as the needs of my endorsers, colleagues and students, garnered over the past twenty years.
Freer Percussion products are well known around the world for being the most unique and creative designs, materials and covering techniques. It’s my goals to have Freer Percussion remain first in its class and a clear leader in the orchestral percussion market providing an unsurpassed level of craftsmanship, creativity and service to enable our customers to reach their full potential.
About Tom Freer, Owner & Product Designer Tom Freer is the owner of Freer Percussion Products. Tom is Assistant Principal Timpanist and Section Percussion with The Cleveland Orchestra since 1991. Prior to his position in Cleveland, Tom served as Principal Timpanist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Principal Timpanist with The Alabama Symphony and Principal Percussion' Assistant Timpani with the Norrkoping Symphony in Norrkoping, Sweden. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music where he was the last timpani student accepted by Cloyd E Duff and has also studied with Richard Weiner. Paul Yancich, Jim Atwood and Mario Gaetano.
An active artist and clinician for Adams. Pearl, Zildjian Cymbals and Freer Percussion Products. Tom has done clinics and masterclasses throughout the United States and Europe including Yale University, Peabody Conservatory, Royal Stockholm Conservatory, Chosen Vale, New World Symphony, PASIC 1999/2004 and of course the Duff Masterclass which is the longest running timpani seminar in history now in its 31st year.
Tom has also been awarded two patents on percussion instrument designs and is head of the Percussion department at Cleveland State University where his students have achieved considerable success as orchestral timpanists and percussionists over the past twenty years. He has recorded extensively and toured with some of the greatest conductors of our time, all over the world. Tom can be heard on over twenty Cleveland Orchestra recordings on the London/Decca and Deutsche Grammophon labels.