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. After licensing to other companies for over ten years, I made the decision to become an independent company in 2012…Freer Percussion LLC. This was an easy decision because my endorsers, colleagues and students all encouraged the change. After five years now, it clearly works and I’m grateful for all of the sales and support. Whether you’re a professional orchestra musician, a conservatory student, or taking auditions, these products have proven to be an absolute necessity.
It’s tough to produce artisanal niche market products at a very consistent level. However, this kind of hand-made product that is available exclusively from the manufacturer is what has been missing in the market. Having one of the greatest orchestras in the world, The Cleveland Orchestra as my full time job and test lab for the past 26 years has been an invaluable privilege. With the teaching I do at CSU and other places, I’m constantly learning as I go. This is in large part what keeps me motivated to create new and better products. I can create and manufacture what we need in the orchestra and then do the same for my students by making something unique that will help them to succeed at auditions. This is really what defines Freer Percussion and makes us stand out.
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 innovation, sound and quality first. This is simply based on the current “farm to table” food trend. People are tired of average mediocre quality in a general sense and are not fooled
by cheap generic imitations of quality products. They demand serious quality especially if they can get it fresh from the source. This is what we do. We only sell direct to you exclusively though this site. We make smaller batches at an extremely high quality level that is strictly controlled. Therefore the sticks and mallets you receive are guaranteed to be factory fresh and have never been “picked over” 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.
Freer Percussion products are well known around the world for being the most unique and creative designs, proprietary materials and covering techniques. It’s my goal 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.
Tom Freer is the President and CEO of Freer Percussion Products. Tom is the 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 Remo, 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 36th 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 26 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 30 Cleveland Orchestra recordings on the London/Decca and Deutsche Grammophon labels.