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Thomas McKinney

Thomas McKinney (Irwin, PA)

Thomas C. McKinney, “Charlie” to his students is a graduate of Seton Hill University with a bachelor of the arts, music, and k-12 Music certification. He is a founding member and alumni of the Seton Hill University Griffin Band and helped re-invent its marching percussion program by implementing a standard of excellence among his peers. In 2008, Thomas graduated from Norwin Senior High School seeking a career in Music Education.

Charlie has taught percussion in various districts throughout Western PA such as Avonworth from 2010 – 2013, Derry from 2011–Present, and now Trinity High school from 2015–Present. In late 2012, he founded the Derry Area Indoor Percussion Program. As director he writes various warm ups, designs the show concepts and writes/teaches drill. The group in it’s three years of competition has grown to a respectable unit claiming the most improved percussion unit award in 2014, and a 2nd place finish of 4 at the TIA Chapter 8 championships in April of 2015 only trailing by 1.5 points. Derry Percussion has never competed prior to their Indoor launch in 2011. Charlie also teaches private percussion lessons outside of marching band. He has arranged several pieces and composes music in his free time.

Throughout his career, Charlie along with his Norwin Class mates have claimed 2 PIMBA Championship titles, 1 BOA 1st Place preliminary finish, consecutive top 3 grand finalist finishes in BOA throughout his four years in school, and has received numerous high adjudication markings at various concert events. In 2007 as a member of the Norwin Jazz Band, he and his peers claimed a 1st place finish at the Slippery Rock Jazz Festival. In 2010, Charlie was selected to participate in the Interscholastic Collegiate Honors Band representing Seton Hill University under the direction of Dr. Mark Scatterday. He is currently a member of the Westmoreland Symphonic Winds, and actively participates in a civil war reenactment band called the 46th Pennsylvania as a percussionist. He is also a member or the Percussive Arts Society (PAS). He has performed in many various concerts, jazz combos, and musicals.

Charlie has studied under many various percussionists of who helped shape both his playing style and teaching philosophies. He would like to extend a thank you to the following: Mike Blazer an advisor and friend, Greg Cicco, Dan Muchoney who put him on his first drum, Mrs. Kimberly Glover who taught him the passion of percussion, Dr. Micheal Kingon of IUP, Robert Traugh, Ian Morrison, Jack R. and Rob G. who developed his marching ability, R.J. Heid, Jim Smith, Tom Angst, Justin Hiembecker, Tom Murphey, and many more.