Vann C. Thornton
A native of Wayne County (Jesup), Georgia, Vann Thornton graduated from Wayne County High School in 1977, and received his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from Troy State University in 1980. In 1995, he received a Master's Degree in Music Education from Troy, and is currently working on a DMA from Boston University. Vann has taught band since for 30-plus years in Bacon County, (Alma) Georgia, Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, Dougherty High School (Albany, GA), Tift County Junior High School (Tifton, GA), Tiftarea Academy (Tifton, GA), Lowndes High (Valdosta, GA), Colquitt County High (Moultrie, GA), served as Fine Arts Coordinator, and Director of Jazz Studies at Tift County, and is currently Director of Bands at Savannah Arts. Mr. Thornton’s Jazz, Marching, & Concert Bands have consistently achieved superior ratings and have travelled to the rose Parade in Pasadena, CA, the Brock’s Holiday Parades in Houston, TX and Chicago Ill, and the Macy’s parade in New York City. Vann has worked as an adjudicator and as a clinician for concert, marching, and jazz band festivals and performances for many years.
Vann has also served as a staff arranger for the U.S. Air Force’s Tops in Blue worldwide touring group, has written originals and arrangements for many different formats including church choir, orchestra, jazz band, marching band, concert band, rock, R&B, and country artists, and has written the music for a CD he and his wife, Marlene Bowen, released in 1999 entitled “This Man of Mine.”
The Savannah Arts Bands continually strive to achieve new levels of musical expertise, performing at the GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluation on level VI literature for the first time. The Sky Light Jazz Band has also realized a milestone with first ever an invitation to the Swing Central Jazz Competition held yearly in Savannah during the Savannah Music Festival. He is looking forward to putting the Savannah Arts Band on a national stage with this competition as well as a trip to the nationally recognized Smoky Mountain Music Festival in April.
Vann is married to Marlene Bowen of Tifton, GA, and has five children, and five grandchildren.