Michael Thursby, M.M.

Director of Athletic Bands | Percussion

Address: 223 Performing Arts (PA 223)
Phone: (507) 389-5545
Email: michael.thursby@mnsu.edu


  • M.M. in Percussion Performance from the University of Northern Iowa
  • B.M. in Percussion Performance and Music Education from the University of Iowa

Mr. Michael Thursby joined the Minnesota State University, Mankato faculty in the fall of 2013 as the Director of Athletic Bands and Percussion.  During his tenure at Minnesota State, the ‘Maverick Machine’ band has grown from a 30-member pep band to serving close to 200 students annually.  The Machine has been invited to perform as featured guests at Super Bowl Live Event (2018), a Minnesota Wild Playoff Game (2017), at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii (2017), was selected as WGI Winds regional champions (2016), at the ‘Three Kings Day’ celebrations in Puerto Rico (2020), and at numerous other events in the Greater Mankato area. 

Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Professor Thursby has worked as a marching band instructor, arranger, and clinician throughout the Midwest, working with the "Shadow Armada" marching band from Oregon, Wisconsin and directing the percussion sections for the University of Iowa "Hawkeye Marching Band," and the UNI "Panther Marching Band." He also spent time marching in Drum Corps International with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps and the Emerald Knights Drum and Bugle Corps. In addition to his role at MN State Mankato, he also recently served as the director for the Mankato Area ’77 Lancers marching band and on the staff of the Govenaires.

Thursby has served as an adjudicator for the Minnesota Percussion Association and in several other circuits throughout the Midwest. He endorses and performs with Mapex and Majestic Percussion equipment, Salyers Percussion, Remo drumheads, and Zildjian cymbals.

Thursby's formal training included undergraduate studies at the University of Iowa where he earned his B.M. in Percussion Performance and Music Education. In 2010, he earned the Master of Music degree from University of Northern Iowa. His primary conducting teachers were Dr. Myron Welch, Dr. Ronald Johnson, and Dr. Rebecca Burkhardt. He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, Minnesota Band Directors Association, Minnesota Music Educators Association, and the Percussive Arts Society.

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