Margaret Thornhill, an adjunct professor of clarinet, is a soloist, chamber musician, and educator, as well as the founder of several organizations serving music and the clarinet in the U.S. An experienced workshop leader, coach, conductor, writer/researcher, and champion of new music, she is based in Los Angeles, where she creates projects that advance the musical community.
She has founded groups and concert series and continues to perform as a clarinetist and conductor. Her performance experience informs her work as a woodwind chamber music coach with organizations such as Chamber Musicians of Northern California and the Ashland Chamber Music Workshop, and more recently with the Humboldt Chamber Music Workshop at Cal Poly Humboldt.
She plays every day, often incorporating material from students’ lesson assignments into her daily routine and experimenting with pedagogical concepts that might help inform their lessons. Recent projects have been an extension of this philosophy, whether coaching advanced clarinetists in solo repertoire at the Claremont Clarinet Festival (2006-2017) or conducting the Los Angeles Clarinet Choir as their artistic director for the past 16 years.
She writes a column about clarinet choir repertoire and history for The Clarinet, a journal of the International Clarinet Association, which has put her in the forefront of expertise on original repertoire for clarinet groups.