Areas of Expertise: Viola
John Paul Tobin teaches Viola, Baroque Violin & Baroque Viola, and serves as the director of the Lycoming College String Ensemble and Young Artist Baroque Orchestra at Lycoming College. Tobin also serves as Principal Violist, Strings Coach, and Assistant to Dr. Ciabattari with the Lycoming College Community Orchestra, and Violist/Violinist with the Lycoming College Faculty String Quartet.
Now based in Lycoming County, Pa., Tobin worked as a studio musician, soloist, chamber musician, conductor, and teacher in Los Angeles, Calif., from 2004-2016, appearing regularly as a guest musician on television broadcasts such as "American Idol" and "The Voice." As a conductor, he has worked extensively with young musicians from the elementary through university levels in areas across the United States, and has served as Principal Conductor and Artistic Director for two youth orchestras within the Harmony Project Los Angeles system — one of the nation's largest and most effective 501(c)3 non-profit youth orchestra programs.
Tobin is highly sought after as Concertmaster, Principal Violist, and Principal 2nd Violin in the region’s finest ensembles. He is Principal Violist of the Williamsport Symphony. He regularly serves as Concertmaster, Principal Violist, and Assistant to Hall with the Williamsport Chamber Choir and Orchestra. He performs with numerous ensembles in New York and Pennsylvania such as The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, The Cantata Singers, Susquehanna Valley Chorale, Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra, and The Commonwealth Pops, and has appeared as a Soloist, Principal Violist, and 1st violinist with the Grassroots Festival Orchestra in Ithaca, N.Y.
An attendee of the Henry Mancini Institute in 2004, Tobin regularly works in popular genres both on television and as a side musician for artists such as Rihanna, Natalie Cole, Smokey Robinson, Burt Bacharach, Harry Connick Jr., Twila Paris, Roger Williams, B.J. Thomas, Doc Severinsen, Warren Hill, Bob James, Kurt Whalum, Mos Def, Common, Macy Gray, Jesse J, Emeli Sande, Mariah Carey, Cee-Lo Green, Parliment Funkadelic, Adam Levine, Pharell, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera, Persian vocalist Googoosh, Latin-American vocalist Marco Antonio Solis, Broadway star Michael Cavanaugh, and an expanding list of others. He is a member of the daKah Hip Hop Orchestra in Los Angeles.
Tobin has extensive experience with Early Music, studying with Tafelmusik in 2001, with the Penn State Baroque Ensemble under Rob Nairn from 2000 to 2003, tuning and temperament theory and late-Baroque high counterpoint with Lloyd Rogers from 2005-2007, and co-founding the ensemble Les Sauvages Américains in 2010.
As soloist and chamber musician, Tobin is constantly pursuant of the most unique and beautiful sound of the viola. Incorporating thoroughly-researched technical characteristics from a variety of historical periods and cultural regions, he works toward the curation of a tenore, or "large-pattern," viola sound: referencing the resonant properties of the tenor viol and the Renaissance lira da braccia, Hermann Ritter's late-Romantic German viola sound, and the now-lost, quinte voice of the orchestral textures of Jean-Baptiste Lully and Georg Muffat.
Tobin is married to violist Ashley English Tobin, with whom he performs an expansive programme of late-Renaissance, pre-Baroque, and Transitional-period duo repertoire for a variety of historical violas and violins.
Tobin received a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Studies from The Pennsylvania State University and Master of Music in Viola Performance from The California State University, Fullerton.
Tobin performs on one of the remarkable American violas by Sarah and Alan Balmforth, and a Classical-period violin by Louis Moitessier, ca. 1800.