James Thomas Laing has volunteered in the bluegrass community for many years. He is a lifetime professional member of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA). Tom served on the Bluegrass in the Schools Committee for IBMA from 1992-2007, and on the National Search committee for an new IBMA Executive Director in 2012. In addition, he is a founding trustee of the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, KY.
In Southeast Michigan Tom has been or is involved in the following bluegrass related activities:
- Various bluegrass concerts benefiting non-profit Charities between 1986 and 1996
- Concerts with the Pontiac Oakland Symphony featuring the Virginia Squires in 1988 and 1989
- Bluegrass in the Schools assembly programs in Pontiac, Waterford, Union Lake, Brandon Township, Lake Orion, Clarkston and Oxford between 1990 and 1997
- The Oakland Community College Bluegrass Series between 1997 and 2010
- Auburn Hill Parade of Stars Bluegrass Festival, 1997-2016
Always community minded, Tom has served in various capacities for the United Way of America, the United Way International, The United Way Retiree Association and The Pontiac Rotary Club.