Tom Helm

Date of Death: 08-11-2023
Funeral Service : 09-09-2023

Tom Helm

Thomas L. Helm, 71, of New York City, passed away on August 11, 2023 at his home. He left us peacefully and without pain with his beloved dog Gracie at his side. 

Born on June 16, 1952 to Thomas and Dorothy (Greer) Helm, Tom was raised in Smithville, MO, where he began piano lessons in second grade. After he was quickly identified as a musical phenom, Tom soon started studying at the Conservatory of Music in Kansas City and eventually earned a degree in piano performance from the University of Missouri- Kansas City. 

Tom began his career at the Equity Library Theater in New York City earning $75 a week and quickly became a respected and loved musical director, conductor and musical supervisor. He prided himself on his work with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera where he served as Music Director for over 20 seasons. In addition, Tom also conducted the Broadway productions Brigadoon, Les Miserables, and Me and My Girl and oversaw the National Tours of Cats and Me and My Girl. He conducted at the Tonys and Kennedy Center Honors, worked as a voice coach for many stars, and leant his artistry to a number of Broadway Cast Recordings. His perfect pitch and demand for quality was only matched by his kindness to his musicians and actors. His professional legacy is one of warm, fond memories filled with hilarious anecdotes. 

Tom loved sharing his beautiful New York apartment with his beloved dogs Gilda and Gracie. He enjoyed spending time with his friends watching movies, visiting with family, and taking his Gracie on long walks through the city.

One of Tom’s favorite roles was one of kind, loving, and benevolent uncle to his nieces, nephews, and MANY great nieces and nephews. 

Tom was preceded in death by his parents (Thomas and Dorothy) as well as by his step-mother Carol Helm, who loved him as her own. He was also preceded in death by his nephew, Mark Helm. 

Tom is survived by his five siblings, many cousins, nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. They mourn heavily with all who knew Tom, including his chosen New York family and friends.

The family will be conducting a funeral service at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 9th at Prevail Church, 300 S. Bridge Street, Smithville, MO.  There will be a gathering in the Fellowship Hall following the service.


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