Byron Pillow (b. 1991) was born and raised on the Texas Gulf Coast. Coming from a pseudo-musical family, he picked up the trombone in sixth grade and taught himself piano around the same time. Both instruments played important roles in his musical development, and he continues to play them to this day when the Gods are generous with time. After taking a year off to explore the wonders of minimum-wage employment and empty bank accounts, he started college at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi as a Marine Biology major. Fascinating as the creatures of the briny deep might be, they did not hold the same alluring sway as the world of music. During the summer of 2014 he left to Vermillion, South Dakota to complete an internship at the National Music Museum (NMM) studying the trombone production of the Frank Holton Company. Byron graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, with Honors, and a minor in biology. His Honors Thesis, based on his work as an intern at the NMM, was titled Sliding Through History: The Trombones of Frank Holton & Co.
Inspired by his introduction to formal organology at the NMM, Byron returned in 2015 to begin his master's degree in the History of Musical Instruments. He has since published and presented on the trombone, the Holton Company, and unrelated matters such as historical keyboard temperaments, music cognition, and harpsichord tuning. In 2016 he was selected as a Library of Congress Junior Fellow in the Music Division's Leonard Bernstein Collection, one of the Library's largest at almost 400,000 items. He obtained his Master of Music from USD with Specialization in the History of Musical Instruments in 2017.
In June 2017 he will begin work as an Imaging Project Specialist at the Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University. Following his tenure their, he will begin residence in Fall as a Research Fellow with the Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, documenting the presence and implications of musical ephemera in their Gilded-age collections.
When not busy staring at instruments, he enjoys fishing, hiking, camping, cooking, eating, and just about anything dealing with music, photography, or the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.