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Neil Thornock

Composition & Theory Division

4229 MB - Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602


Neil Thornock began his college-level music studies as an organist and carillonneur at Brigham Young University. He received a Doctorate of Music in composition from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2006. During the academic year 2006-2007, he was a visiting assistant professor of music and assistant to the Provost for accreditation at Southern Virginia University. He joined the BYU faculty in the 2007-2008 academic year and teaches courses in composition and theory.

In his artistic pursuits, Thornock primarily considers himself a performer/composer. Many of his compositions grow out of performance opportunities on organ, carillon, piano, toy piano, and harpsichord. His interests also include electroacoustic music, especially organ with electronics and experimental digital instrument design.

Thornock’s works have been described both as “richly scored, moving, resonant” (Peter Jacobi, Herald Times) and as possessing “cool understatement” (editor, His hour-long piano solo Cosmology was released on the Albany label in 2017, performed by pianist Hillary Demske. His saxophone music appears on No Stopping, Standing, or Parking, on the Navona label, and Between the Lines, his album of percussion works, have been released by New Focus Records.

His music has received performances in various venues, including Automatronic, NASA, SEAMUS, SCI, Imagine 2, Eccles Organ Concert Series, and San Diego State University. He has won three Barlow commissions and was commissioned by the Thomas Rees Memorial Carillon Society to commemorate the 75th anniversary of their carillon. His organ music is published through Firehead Editions. His music for carillon has been regularly performed on carillons around the world.

He and his wife Tammy have seven children.

Courses Taught