UVM Concert Band, Percussion, World Music
D. Thomas Toner is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Music and Dance at the University of Vermont, where he conducts the Concert Band and teaches percussion. Dr. Toner was previously on the faculties of SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Plattsburgh, and the Summer Session of the Eastman School of Music. Dr. Toner was awarded both the Doctor of Musical Arts degree and the Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree and Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. He has studied percussion with John Beck (Eastman School of Music), Gordon Gottlieb (Yale School of Music), Peter Tanner (University of Massachusetts), Arthur Press (Boston Symphony), Glen Velez (Steve Reich Ensemble), Leigh Howard Stevens (marimba virtuoso), Doug Howard (Dallas Symphony), and Pascal Younge (Ghana, West Africa).
As a percussionist, Dr. Toner's eclectic career has included performances with the Clifford Ball Orchestra (for the rock band Phish), before Princess Grace and Princess Caroline of Monaco, at a world music festival in Bali, Indonesia, and with a native troupe in a performance in a torrential lightening storm in Ghana, West Africa. Dr. Toner joined the Vermont Symphony Orchestra at the age of 18, and became Principal Percussionist a few years later. He has performed a wide variety of music with the VSO, including most of the standard orchestral repertoire, unusual 20th Century pieces (such as the solo snare drum part in Carl Nielsen's Clarinet Concerto with soloist Richard Stoltzman), and "Pops" music with the likes of Peter, Paul, and Mary, and Tish Hinojosa (where he played drum set, congas, and hand drums). Dr. Toner was the featured soloist of the VSO's fall 2002 tour of Vermont in David Gunn's "A Tangoed Web" (commissioned by the orchestra specifically for that occasion) and was the soloist in Shane Shanahan's "Ahshutmas" with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble in April 2003. A frequent substitute percussionist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 1993-1995, he has also appeared with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra (on their 1998 tour of New England), the Massachusetts Chamber Players, and many other ensembles in the northeast. Dr. Toner has also been a featured artist on faculty recitals at the University of Massachusetts and Dartmouth, Williams and Smith Colleges, as well as at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Convention and the Northeast Conference of the College Music Society. In 2011 and 2012 he presented recitals and masterclasses at the Inner Mongolian Arts College in Hohhot, China. Dr. Toner appears on recordings with the Vermont Symphony and the Robert DeCormier Ensemble, issued by Arabesque Records, and on two solo recordings of Trey Anastasio, issued on the Elektra label. In addition, he is a featured percussionist on numerous audio and video recordings by the vocal group Counterpoint, conducted by Robert DeCormier, and has been heard with that group on National Public Radio's "Performance Today". Dr. Toner is an endorser of Grover Pro Percussion.
An active guest conductor, Dr. Toner has conducted wind groups at the District level throughout Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, was the conductor of the 1993 Vermont All-State Orchestra, and has conducted the New Hampshire All-State Percussion Ensemble three times. He has also appeared as guest conductor of the Yale Concert Band, the SUNY-Fredonia Percussion Ensemble, the Green Mountain Mahler Festival Orchestra, and has been a co-presenter at the Eastern Conference of the College Band Directors National Association. From 2002-2010, he was Director of the Northeast Instrumental Music Festival, in Lake Placid, New York. Dr. Toner is a member of the Percussive Arts Society, the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, the College Band Director's National Association, and the American Federation of Musicians, all of which he has served as an officer at the state level.
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