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, as he continues to play them to this day. 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, bringing about a change of major back to the arts. 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 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 is currently finishing his graduate degree, working on a thesis concerning the divergent evolution of the bass trombone in the nineteenth century.
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.