Percussionist Sam Tundo is a native Detroiter who joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in September 1968. Prior to his appointment, he served as Principal Percussion with the New Orleans Symphony, the Florida and North Carolina Symphonies, and as timpanist with the Santa Fe Opera Company. He began music studies in elementary school -- trumpet being his first choice -- but due to the cost, he chose drums instead, allowing him to practice at home with two sticks and a book. Continuing music at Wayne State University, he studied with percussionists Jack Ledingham and Arthur Cooper. Tundo subsequently taught at Wayne State from 1986-1995. In addition to symphony orchestra, Tundo enjoys playing jazz, has opened for blues great B.B. King, performed and recorded with the crossover group Symphonic Metamorphosis, and has played with the Austin Moro Big Band. During his tenure with the New Orleans Symphony, Tundo managed a French Quarter nightclub for four years. Tundo is also actively involved as a volunteer in the Coast Guard Auxiliary. In this capacity, he conducts boating safety classes and boat inspections, mans a public awareness booth at local boat shows, and is qualified to participate in search and rescue missions. In 1995, Tundo furthered his nautical accomplishments by earning his Merchant Marine Masters.