Shannon Thompson

WCU's School of Music Clarinet Studio is led by Associate Professor and accomplished performer Shannon Thompson. The dynamic group of young performers includes those training for careers as educators and those looking to become professional performers. 

Clarinet studio students

The WCU Clarinet Studio backstage before the School of Music Sounds of the Season Concert at Bardo Performing Arts Center.

Shannon Thompson Bio


  • D.M.A., Clarinet Performance, University of Texas at Austin, 1998
  • M.M., Clarinet Performance, Boston University, 1988
  • B.A., Music, University of Oregon, 1986


Shannon Thompson is associate professor of music at Western Carolina University where she has led the clarinet studio since 1997. She teaches all clarinet courses (lessons, principals, ensembles, and reed making), as well as the pedagogy of woodwind instruments class for future band directors.

Dr. Thompson received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Clarinet Performance from the University of Texas at Austin where she completed a study of the most significant influences on clarinet playing to come out of the United States in her doctoral treatise, "A History and Analysis of the Philadelphia School of Clarinet Playing."

Dr. Thompson is principal clarinetist of the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra and bass clarinetist of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra. She maintains an active performing career as a recitalist and chamber musician. She has also been a solo artist in Atlanta’s Spivey Concert Hall Recital Series, the International Clarinet Association’s Clarinetfest, and the College Music Society's National Conference.

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