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NSMS Welcomes New Faculty Peter Groch & Trevor Thornton

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

NSMS is thrilled to welcome Peter Groch and Trevor Thornton to the faculty for the 2019-2020 school year!

Peter Groch holds a M.M. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma, and a B.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While at the University of Illinois, he competed in several competitions and received first place in the ISMTA Collegiate Piano Competition. His interest in world music led him to become a member of the Gamelan Ensemble and the Balkan Ensemble. Between degree programs, Peter spent several years in Chicago, Illinois where he was an active accompanist, teacher, and performer. 

While at the University of Oklahoma, Peter was awarded a teaching assistantship through which he taught group piano classes and applied piano lessons. He spent his summers in Oklahoma as the assistant music director of the Cimarron Opera Theater Camp. Peter has studied piano with Dr. Rochelle Sennet, Dr. Mary Beth Molenaar, and Dr. Igor Lipinski. His Pedagogy teachers include Dr. Christos Tsitsaros, Dr. Barbara Fast, and Dr. Jane Magrath.

Trevor Thornton joined NSMS in 2018 to take part in the Teaching Apprenticeship Program – an intensive year of observations, co-teaching, and pedagogy courses. He holds a B.M and M.M. in piano performance from the University of Missouri – Kansas City, where he studied with Dr. Robert Weirich and Dr. Diane Petrella. In high school, Thornton was a Myra Jackson Blair Scholar for three years at the Blair School of Music in Nashville, TN, where he studied with Jama Reagan. An enthusiastic collaborator, Mr. Thornton has accompanied middle school choirs full-time, worked as a staff pianist for the Kansas City Ballet and UMKC Dance Division, and has served as a church musician. He also performs regularly with the Midwest Chamber Ensemble and in NSMS Faculty Recitals. As a teacher, Mr. Thornton has been a piano instructor for Hunterdon Academy of the Arts, Village Music Academy, The Pembroke Hill School, in his private studio, and as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at UMKC. One of his favorite aspects of teaching when students have an “Aha!” moment about the way a piece sounds best.


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