University Bands

Matt Thomas, Associate Director of Bands

Dr. Thomas was appointed as the Associate Director of Bands at the Western Illinois University School of Music in 2010. His responsibilities at WIU include conducting the Concert Band, University Band, Pep Band, and directing the "Marching Leathernecks," as well as teaching instrumental conducting and other courses within the undergraduate music education curriculum.

A native of the Midwest, Dr. Thomas was born and raised in Evansville, Indiana. He attended the University of Kentucky as a trumpet student of Terry Everson, and graduated from the institution with a Bachelor of Music Education degree. He then taught in the Cobb County, Georgia, school district, where bands under his direction gave feature performances at the University of Georgia Middle School Festival and The Midwest Clinic, an International Band and Orchestra Conference.

Dr. Thomas' graduate studies included a Master of Music degree in Wind/Band Conducting and a Ph.D. in Music Education from The Florida State University, where he was a conducting student of Richard Clary. During his time at FSU, Dr. Thomas was an associate conductor with the numerous graduate and undergraduate concert ensembles, taught courses in music education and conducting, and designed drill for the 400 member marching band.

Since arriving at Western, Dr. Thomas has been in high demand as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and drill designer across the midwest, his biography of Alfred Watkins (former director the Lassiter High School Band in Cobb County, Georgia) was published in the Winter 2015 Peer Reviewed section of the National Band Association Journal, and the WIU Marching Leathernecks performed in front of 400,000 live spectators (and 4 million online) at the 2015 McDonald's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Chicago. Most recently in the summer of 2017, Dr. Thomas completed a one week residency in Costa Rica working with high school and college band programs across the country. He and his wife reside in Macomb with their four children.

 

 

       Email: MJ-Thomas@wiu.edu
       Office Phone: 309-298-1505
       Office: Sallee Hall 204C, Macomb, IL 61455