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 MSU 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 has performed as a percussionist with various world fusion bands over the years. In 2009, he founded the Michigan State University salsa band, Salsa Verde, which performs in 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 enrolled musicians in Havana. He 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.
Weber has published his pieces X and Machine (winner of the 2013 PAS Percussion Composition Contest) with Tapspace Percussion. 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. In 2013-2014 he arranged the front ensemble music for NorthCoast Academy of WGI. Weber received his DMA in percussion performance from Michigan State in 2008. He is a Yamaha Performing Artist, Tapspace Artist, and member of the Vic Firth Education Team.
Director, Spartan Marching Band
David Thornton joined the faculty at Michigan State University's College of Music as assistant director of bands in 2015 and was appointed Director of the Spartan Marching Band in 2017. He 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 in wind conducting 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 Michigan Music Educators Association, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, Florida Music Educators Association, Florida Bandmasters Association, and the College Band Directors National Association.