Thomas Aber, a founding member of newEar, is also the bass clarinetist with the Omaha Symphony. His studies of the bass clarinet took him to the Juilliard School and then to the Netherlands, where he studied contemporary techniques and repertoire of the bass clarinet with Harry Sparnaay. In 1979 he was a prize winner in the Gaudeamus Foudation's International Competition for Interpreters of Contemporary Music. Aber earned his DMA in clarinet at the Conservatory of the University of Missouri at Kansas City. His musical interests are wide-ranging, extending from many current styles to traditional music and traditional instruments from the Balkans and Turkey.