Melissa Normoyle | Posted 12 months ago.
Tommy Wagner – of small-town Victor, NY – didn’t always have it on his mind to be a country
singer/songwriter. Until his senior year at Cornell University, Tommy had his life mapped out –
graduation, medical school and a career as a doctor.
Scoring in the top percentile on his MCATs, Tommy’s path on the straight-and-narrow seemed steady,
yet music always remained in the back of his mind. A senior fall loaded with music coursework and his
acceptance into both Cornell’s all-male choir and premier co-ed a cappella group, The Chordials, only
made music an ever more present part of Tommy’s life.
Tommy was introduced to music at an early age, studying piano and later picking up the guitar. Only to
be expected from a 14-year old, Tommy grew frustrated with the instrument, throwing it down and
picking it back up time and time again until he eventually stuck with it. Before long, Tommy found
himself playing his favorite classics – music from the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boston, and The Eagles –and began to dabble in songwriting, drawing inspiration from his favorite groups at the time but not yet
conforming to a single genre.
“About two years ago I came across a quote from the author, Steve Maraboli. Specifically, the line,
‘Dance and sing to your music’ stuck with me. I just couldn’t get it out of my head. I’ve had a lot of
pressure to “be this” and “be that,” but it wasn’t until I came across this quote that I knew I had to
pursue my passion, my music. My music comes to life through my experiences and I live through my
music. It only seemed right to follow my heart and do what I love.”
The product? – An impossible to forget rhythmic blend with elements of both classic and contemporary
folk, rock, and country styles. Tommy’s music speaks from personal experiences and expresses a range
of emotions, coming to life in a mix of upbeat, danceable easy listeners but not shying away from the
It wasn’t until the summer before his senior year at Cornell that Tommy found himself a home in
This hobby turned passion inspired Tommy’s decision to postpone medical school and move to
Nashville, the country music capital, in hopes of sharing his music with a larger audience.
“Last December, I was reflecting on where I was in my life and what the future had in store. Wrestling
with the various ideas I had for myself post-graduation, I started asking myself, who do I want to be?
This became the title of a song that I now hold very close to me. It’s a personal story of a man reflecting
on a not-so-perfect life and asking this question to himself. When I play this song, I remind myself to
look at the things I’ve done, figure out who I am now, and find who, and where, I want to be in a couple
Tommy has played his collection of country originals and personally styled covers across New York State
at a variety of venues and events. Now, with 20+ songs written, Tommy is hitting the studio with his first acoustic demo, due later this year.
“I write with the hope that the songs I resonate with can also find a home with others – that’s what I
here to do.”