Michigan State University Spartan Marching Band

From its earliest days in 1870 as a student-directed ensemble, to its time as a unit of the MSU Cadet Corps, the now 300-member Spartan Marching Band (SMB) is one of the most recognized collegiate marching ensembles in the United States. The band’s rich tradition and history are still embodied today through its traditional Pregame Show and uniforms that feature military bearings. Each fall, the Spartan Marching Band performs at every home football game and also represents Michigan State University (MSU) across the country at away games and end-of-year bowl games. The students of the ensemble represent every major college of the university and involved throughout the campus community via their participation in the SMB and other campus-wide opportunities. The Spartan Marching Band is led by their Director, Dr. David Thornton, and Associate Director, Dr. Arris Golden.

The Spartan Marching Band is a part of the Michigan State University Band Program and the Michigan State University College of Music. Lead by Dr. Kevin Sedatole, the 152 year-old MSU Band program features the MSU Wind Symphony, Symphony Band, Concert Band, Campus Band; the Spartan Marching Band and the Spartan Brass athletic Band; and a graduate wind-conducting program.

Spartan Marching Band Staff
Director of Bands – Dr. Kevin Sedatole
Director of the Spartan Marching Band – Dr. David Thornton
Associate Director of the Spartan Marching Band – Dr. Arris Golden
Percussion Instructor - Dr. Jon Weber
Color Guard Instructor – Emily Rogers
Conducting Graduate Assistants – Cody Edgerton and Brian Taylor

Participated: 2022
Country: USA

Michigan State University Spartan Marching Band

Dr  David Thornton

Conductor: Dr. David Thornton

David Thornton joined the faculty of the Michigan State University College of Music (MSU) in the fall of 2015 as Assistant Director of Bands. In 2017 he was appointed as the Associate Director of Bands and the Director of the Spartan Marching Band (SMB). In this role, Thornton is the conductor of the MSU Symphony Band and teaches courses in instrumental conducting, and marching band methods. As the director of the SMB, Dr. Thornton is the principle drill writer and show designer for the 300-member Spartan Marching Band. In addition to his role with the SMB, Dr. Thornton also oversees the Spartan Brass athletic band program that performs at all basketball, volleyball, and hockey events.

Thornton maintains an active schedule with engagements throughout the United States as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. He has presented at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Michigan Music Conference, and the Florida Music Educators Association Conference. In addition to clinician and performance engagements, his arrangements and transcriptions have been performed by ensembles at Michigan State as well as at national and international events. During his career as a conductor, Thornton has worked with a number of notable composers in the preparation, performance, and/or recording of their works for the wind band medium. Recent artistic collaborations include Omar Thomas, Ricardo Lorenz, John Corigliano, Steven Bryant, and Andrew David Perkins. His leadership with the MSU Symphony Band has also been nationally recognized with their invitation to perform at the 2020 North Central Division CBDNA Conference at DePaul University.

Dr. Thornton earned his doctoral and master’s degrees in Wind Conducting from Michigan State University and his bachelor’s degrees in Clarinet Performance and Music Education from Florida State University. 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).

Dr  Arris Golden

Conductor: Dr. Arris Golden

Dr. Arris Golden is the Assistant Director of Bands and Associate Director of the Spartan Marching Band at Michigan State University. In this capacity, Dr. Golden teaches courses in conducting, marching band techniques, conducts the Spartan Youth Wind Symphony, is coordinator of the MSU Performing Arts Camps, and assists with all aspects of the athletic band program. Before joining the faculty at Michigan State University, Dr. Golden was a member of the conducting faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she served as the Assistant Director of University Bands. Prior to her collegiate appointments, Dr. Golden had a distinguished 18-year teaching career in the public schools of North Carolina.

Dr. Golden maintains an active schedule with engagements throughout the United States and internationally as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. Dr. Golden has also shared presentations at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Michigan Music Conference, the North Carolina Music Educators Conference, and the Virginia Music Educators Conference based in her research interests: undergraduate music education preparation, conductor decision-making, repertoire selection and programming, and the student teaching and mentorship experience. Dr. Golden has worked with a number of notable composers in the preparation and performance of their works for the wind band medium. Recent and future artistic collaborations include Brian Balmages, David Biedenbender, Tyler S. Grant, Peter Meechan, Aaron Perinne, Alex Shapiro, Erika Svanoe, and Omar Thomas.

Dr. Golden holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She completed the Doctor of Musical Arts in wind conducting from Michigan State University as a 2014 recipient of a Michigan State University Distinguished Fellowship.

Michigan State University Spartan Marching Band concert(s)
Mid Europe 2022

Thursday, 14.07.2022

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Friday, 15.07.2022