Drumline Instructors


Jon Weber

Director, Spartan Marching Band Drumline

Jon Weber is instructor of percussion at the Michigan State University College of Music, where he teaches applied percussion lessons, percussion ensemble, salsa band, and the award-winning Michigan State Drumline.   The percussion ensemble, with Weber as co-director, was selected to perform at the 2013 Percussive Arts Society International Convention.  He has presented clinics throughout the United States, and in the summer of 2012 presented clinics and a recital in Colombia.  Weber has also presented clinics at the Collegiate Band Directors National Association Symposium, Yamaha Sounds of Summer Program, and served as a panel clinician at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention multiple times.  Weber has performed with the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, the Brass Band of Battle Creek, the Flint Symphony Orchestra, the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, the New York Solsti Orchestra, and the Santa Clara Vanguard.  He is the percussionist for the world fusion group The Nomads and served as a percussionist for various salsa and fusion bands.  In 2009, he founded the Michigan State University salsa band, Salsa Verde, which performs Michigan; he still directs and performs in this ensemble.  He currently plays drumset with the Michigan salsa band Orquesta Ritmo.
Weber assisted in the MSU Study Abroad Program in Cuba in May 2015, both teaching and performing with the musicians enrolled in the class in Havana. Weber taught the Michigan All-State percussion program at Interlochen from 2007 – 2009. He has also taught percussion and the drumline at Oklahoma State University. He has performed Michael Daugherty's timpani concerto Raise the Roof with the MSU Wind Symphony and Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion with Orchestra with the MSU Symphony Orchestra.  Weber heads the percussion faculty for the summer Performing Arts Camp at Michigan State University.  With the MSU Drumline, he has presented performances at the Bands of America Grand National Championships, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, and wherever the Spartans play football, including the Rose Bowl in 2014.  From 2004 – 2011, Weber  was composer / arranger for the Detroit Pistons Drumline, which has performed at NBA games in Detroit and Chicago, with Kid Rock on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and the 2006 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, Texas.  University and NBA Drumlines have performed his percussion arrangements throughout the United States, and in 2013 – 2014 he arranged the front ensemble music for NorthCoast Academy. Weber received his DMA in Percussion Performance from Michigan State in 2008.  He is a Yamaha Performing Artist and member of the Vic Firth Education Team. 


Steve Wulff

Graduate Assistant, Spartan Marching Band Drumline

Steven Wulff is currently pursuing his Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in Percussion Performance at Michigan State University. He is a teaching assistant with the percussion department, helping to teach percussion ensemble and non-major lessons. His previous degrees are from Michigan State University (BM) and the University of South Carolina (MM), both in Percussion Performance.

A native of Holt, Michigan, Steven is an active music educator and performer. He currently works with Holt High School and Grand Ledge High School and is adjunct faculty at Albion College, where he instructs the British Eighth Drumline and the Albion Percussion Ensemble. Steven has also worked with Legends Drum & Bugle Corps and Palmetto Percussion.


Alex Smith

Graduate Assistant, Spartan Marching Band Drumline

Alex is a native of Winston-Salem, NC who recently completed his Master of Music in Percussion Performance at MSU and is now pursuing a Master of Arts in Musicology/Ethnomusicology. He is a teaching assistant in these academic areas, as well as for the MSU Spartan Marching Band Drumline. Prior to coming to Michigan State, Smith was heavily involved as an educator in the marching musical arts, and currently works with the Okemos and Olivet high school drumlines. He has also instructed with Craven Indoor, Eastside Fury, and the East Carolina University Drumline. He performed with the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps in 2005-2006. Along with continuing his studies at MSU, Alex is interested in music of the world having done research in Brazil and Ghana.


Brian Durocher

Graduate Assistant, Spartan Marching Band Drumline

Brian Durocher is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance at Michigan State University, where he assists in coaching the percussion ensemble and teaches non-major lessons.  He holds a B.A degree in Music Education  from Penn State University (2011), and a M.M degree in Percussion Performance from Central Michigan University (2013).

While attending Penn State University, Brian was a member of the Penn State Blue Band Drumline.  As a graduate assistant at Central Michigan University, He instructed the CMU Drumline, taught non-major percussion ensemble, as well as percussion methods to music education majors.  He maintains a private teaching studio in East Lansing, MI and works with high school drumlines across the State of Michigan.

Spartan Marching Band Directors


John Madden

Director, Spartan Marching Band

John T. Madden has been Director of the Spartan Marching Band since the fall of 1989. He supervises all aspects of the rehearsal and performance of the band. Additionally, he is active as the primary drill designer and music arranger.

In the MSU College of Music, Professor Madden serves as an Associate Professor of Music and Associate Director of Bands. He is the conductor of the MSU Symphony Band and teaches conducting at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Additionally, he has taught courses in marching band techniques.

Madden is a graduate of the Michigan State University College of Music, where he received his Bachelor of Music Education Degree. He received his Master of Music Education and Wind Conducting degrees from Wichita State University, where he also served as Graduate Teaching Assistant to the University Bands. Prior to coming to MSU, Madden held the post of Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Marching Band in the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Madden is active throughout the nation as an adjudicator, guest conductor and conducting clinician, and has conducted MSU ensembles at state, regional, and national conventions, conferences and symposiums. In December of 2004, he presented a clinic session at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, entitled “From Carnegie Hall to the 50-yard line: Approaching Concert and Marching Ensembles with the same vision.” He has presented similar clinics at both the National College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Athletic Bands Symposium as well as at the Michigan Music Conference (MMC). In 2000, the MSU Symphony Band was selected to perform at the North Central Divisional Conference of the CBDNA in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. In 2011, the MSU Symphony Band was chosen to perform at the MMC at DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids.

Madden is a member of the College Band Directors National Association and has served that organization as the state of Michigan chair and chair of the Athletic Bands Committee. He is a member of the Big Ten Band Directors Association, and is a past national vice-president for professional relations, and past north central district governor of Kappa Kappa Psi, the national honorary band service fraternity. He also holds honorary membership in the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, Tau Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and the Golden Key Honor Society. He was inducted into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association in March of 2008.


David Thornton

Associate Director, Spartan Marching Band

David Thornton is joining the faculty at Michigan State University's College of Music as assistant director of bands. He recently earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Wind Conducting at Michigan State University where he served an active role teaching and assisting with all aspects of the band program. Prior to coming to MSU, Thornton taught in the state of Florida where he was the assistant director of bands at Eau Gallie High School (Melbourne) and most recently the director of bands at Leon High School (Tallahassee). A native of Springfield, Virginia, Thornton received his Master's of Music degree from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Music in Clarinet Performance from Florida State University. He has professional affiliations with the Florida Music Educators Association, Florida Bandmasters Association, and the College Band Directors National Association.