The SMB Color Guard will hold one (1) additional audition day for the 2017 SMB season. All prospective members will experience a morning group class in movement and flag that includes fundamentals along with choreography. After lunch, there will be a brief review and then the audition will proceed in small groups. Auditionees will meet with staff immediately following the audition to receive feedback and results. Those selected for the color guard will report to SMB preseason training on August 21st.
To register, please fill out the following Google form.
Date: Saturday, August 12, 2017
Location: Band Hall in Demonstration Hall.
Time: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
What to wear:
Please wear darker clothes that you move well in and are able to properly show your skills.
Ladies, a hair tie is expected to keep your hair out of your face.
What to bring:
Water, gloves and a great attitude! We will provide all equipment.
What we are looking for:
We are looking at grace, poise, attention to detail, athleticism, connection of body with equipment, quick adaptability to style + technique, strong performance, strength, consistency, attitude.
The desirable candidate will have all of the above attributes or the right-mix along with a strong desire/passion to improve and grow into the skill set necessary to succeed at Color Guard at MSU.
In announcing the appointment, James Forger, dean of the College of Music, praised David Thornton for the experience, energy and artistry he will bring to his new role.
“We look forward to welcoming David in this important leadership position,” Forger said. “We are confident that he will execute this new role with great skill and imagination, while building on our distinguished marching tradition here at MSU.”
The 300-member band was founded in 1870 and has grown into one of the premier college marching bands in the nation. Thornton has been part of the band’s leadership team for the past five years. He came to MSU as a graduate student in 2012 and joined the faculty of the College of Music in 2015 as assistant director of bands and assistant director of the SMB.
As part of his duties, he will also conduct the Symphony Band and Spartan Brass. Thornton succeeds Professor John Madden, who has announced his retirement from the university, effective Aug. 16.
Kevin Sedatole, MSU professor of music and director of bands, has worked closely with Thornton, first as his conducting mentor and more recently as a colleague.
“I’m very excited to welcome David as the new director of the Spartan Marching Band and conductor of the Symphony Band,” Sedatole said. “He has done exceptional work as the associate director, and I know that he is ready to take over the helm of the SMB. I’m thrilled that one of the best young conductors in the country will now be joining me in leading our band program.”
A native of Springfield, Va., Thornton received master’s and doctoral degrees in wind conducting from MSU and holds bachelor’s degrees in music education and clarinet performance from Florida State University, where he held the position of head drum major of the FSU Marching Chiefs.
Thornton began his teaching career leading middle school and high school band programs in Melbourne and Tallahassee, Fla. Under his leadership, bands from Tallahassee’s Leon High School received peer-reviewed invitations to appear at the College Band Directors National Association Southern Division Conference, the Savannah (Georgia) Music Festival and the Florida Music Educators Association State Conference.
From his very first SMB rehearsal in 2012, Thornton was impressed with the band’s culture of comradery and its performance excellence.
“I have great respect and appreciation for the rich tradition and history of the Spartan Marching Band,” Thornton said. “I place tremendous value in the century-long heritage that has been established, and I am eager to continue that culture in collaboration with our outstanding students. I am excited to embrace my role as director within the SMB family of students, alumni, directors, and donors as we carry on the time-honored commitment to excellence.”