Eli Thomas was born and raised in San Diego, California and moved to Virginia to study violin at Shenandoah Conservatory, where he received his Master's degree in music performance. His musical studies have taken him internationally to countries such as Spain, Argentina and Jamaica, where he studied pedagogy with the master teacher Steven Woodham. While in school he served as concertmaster of the Conservatory's orchestra, and participated in numerous chamber music ensembles. He is passionate about teaching and is the co-founder and director of the Charles Washington Youth Orchestra. He and his wife Emily live in a converted horse barn in White Post, Virginia, where they host frequent chamber music events.