MEET THE FACULTY – August J. Thoma
Adjunct Instructor of Music
Director of Bands
M.M., Oakland University
B.M. Music Education, Michigan State University
B.A. Music Literature, Michigan State University
School: School of Humanities
Office: Alumni Music Center 202
Phone: (248) 218.2258
HONORS AND AFFILIATIONS:
- Emeritus Member, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association
- Teacher of the Year, District 16, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, 1995, 2007.
- District 16, Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, Executive Board, 2002-2007.
- American School Band Directors Association, Elected Member, National Executive Board Secretary, 2006-2007.
- ASBDA (MI) Award of Excellence for Rochester High School Bands, 2005
- Excellence in Education Award, Rochester Community Schools, 2001
- Rochester (MI) PTSA Founders Day Award, 2000
- Michigan Alliance for Gifted Education, Teacher of the Year Nominee, 1992
- Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, multiple year honoree
- Kappa Kappa Psi, National Band Service Fraternity, Zeta Epsilon Chapter
- College Band Directors National Association
- National Band Association
- International Clarinet Association
- Michigan State University Alumni Band
PROFESSIONAL AND ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE:
Previous teaching experience:
- Rochester College, 2000 – present
- Oakland University, Adjunct Faculty, 2001 – 2008
- Rochester (MI) High School, Director of Bands, 1983 – 2007
- Van Hoosen Junior High School, Rochester Community Schools, 1979 – 1983
- Elementary Instrumental Music Teacher, Lake Orion (MI) Community Schools, 1977 – 1979
- Teacher Aide, Vocal/General Music, East Lansing Public Schools, 1976
Additional professional experience:
- Director of Music Ministry, St. John Fisher University Parish, Auburn Hills, MI, 1978 – present
- Professional Tour Director, Brightspark Travel, Deerfield, IL, 2010 – present
- Professional Tour Director, New Horizons Tour and Travel, Jackson, MI 2008 – 2010
- Adjudicator for Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association, 2000 – present
- Clinician for Instrumental Programs throughout Michigan, 1995 – present
- Instrumental Music Fitting Consultant, A&G Central Music, 2007- present
- Private Studio Teaching on Clarinet, Saxophone
- Professional Performing on Clarinet, Saxophone, Guitar, Bass, Voice
Mr. Thoma has pursued a varied career in music and music education since his arrival in the Rochester area in 1977. The majority of his career was at Rochester High School where, as director of bands, his program grew from 65 students to almost 300 during his tenure there, including four concert bands, two jazz ensembles, and a 225-member marching band. His program was recognized by the Michigan Chapter of ASBDA with its Award of Excellence in 2005. He led the Rochester High School band on 13 concert tours in the United States, Canada, and the U.K. He has also served as director of music ministry at St. John Fisher University Parish in Auburn Hills since 1978. Mr. Thoma has been the conductor of the Concert Band since 2007 at RC. He is married to Maureen, a retired teacher with the Rochester Schools, and they have three children and twin granddaughters. Mr. Thoma enjoys bicycling, pickleball, RVing, and MSU football.
- Administration of the School Concert Band Program
- Multiple presentations at The University of Michigan School of Music and Michigan State University College of Music (1990s – early 2000s)
Selected Significant Performances:
- Harrogate International Youth Music Festival with the Rochester Symphonic Winds, 2000.
- Thirteen concert tours with the Rochester High School bands, 1991-2006
- Michigan Thanksgiving Parade with the Rochester High School marching band, multiple year selections, 1993-2005.
- Detroit Lions football game performances with the Rochester High School marching band, multiple year selections 1995-2001.
- Michigan Youth Arts Festival, All-State Chamber Ensemble, 2004.
- Michigan State University Alumni Band, Scotland Tour, 2013 (performer)