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. After taking a year off after high school 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 Fall of 2017, he will begin residence 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.
Aside from general organological inquiry, Byron has a passion in the world of photography, especially the realm of cultural-heritage serving digitization of 2D and 3D collections. In this light, he has worked as an Imaging Project Specialist with the Davison Art Center at Wesleyan University, and assisted heavily in the collections photography at the National Music Museum.
When not busy trundling through the museum world, he enjoys fishing, hiking, camping, cooking, eating, and just about anything dealing with music, photography, or the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.