The Thom Stolar band is a collection of family and friends drawn together by a love and respect for one of God’s most precious gifts, music. The members of this multigenerational ensemble include a trio of members from the Stolar family as well as a father/son duo who share the name Ebbett. Longtime (36 years should be more than enough time to break in a drummer) as well as newfound friends fill out the band’s roster and have brought a variety of talents and influences to the project.
The offspring of two musician parents who met while working at a Burlington, Vermont, RKO Radio subsidiary in the 1940’s, Thom’s love affair with horn bands dates back to 1960’s jam sessions in the basements and living rooms of junior high and high school friends, all of whom were more familiar with the personalities in Johnny Carson’s NBC Orchestra than the fab four from Liverpool. This affection for the horn section grew courtesy of a college R&B cover band, which saw its share of frat parties while opening for a list of national recording artists that wandered though the northeast, and a couple of 70’s club acts, one of which employed the requisite glitter and flash-powder-laced stage show which the era all but demanded of its musicians - shine my silver platforms and pick up my spandex at the dry cleaners, if you would. The affair came full circle with an 80’s “G.B.” band that was immortalized in the photo albums and videos of more New England brides and bridegrooms than we care to mention but did manage reintroduce its members to the Real Book and more than a few jazz standards.
At some point along the way, Stolar’s fascination with all things brass and woodwind began to demand more of his attention. A 90’s horn band experiment resulted in some 50 cover charts being generated over the course of a couple of summer months and, though the project was a short-lived one, this labor of love ultimately hooked him on the idea of writing original horn-driven music that would satisfy both the need to create and the growing desire to make that creativity reflect Christian values and beliefs; Once Upon A Time is the end result. It is also the fruit born of the time, energy and love which was poured into the project by the band members who, through their considerable talents, gave life to each track on the CD. We hope you enjoy it.
Thom Stolar currently teaches instrumental music to middle school students in the Cape Ann region of northeastern Massachusetts. He attends church at Salem First Baptist in southern New Hampshire where he and wife Deb worship and are members of the praise band. Daughter Meghan, who shoulders most of the album’s vocal work, is presently a music business major at NYU.