Meet Our Front Ensemble Staff
Assistant Percussion Director & Percussion Arranger
Thomas Wharton began working with Dakota High School Bands in November of 2016 as a front ensemble Instructor. Today, Thomas still primarily works with the front ensemble, but is now the Assistant Percussion Director and Percussion Arranger of Dakota.
Outside of Dakota, Thomas is the Front Ensemble Co-Caption Head at Redline Percussion, and Front Ensemble Instructor at The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps. Thomas has worked with a number of other programs as well; notably, he was the Percussion Director at Lake Orion in 2022-2023, guiding the ensemble to their first ever State Championship in Open Class in 2023. Thomas has also done work with a handful of other programs, including Apex Percussion, Ferndale HS, Lamphere HS, Plymouth Canton Educational Park, Hastings HS, Southgate Anderson, Cap City Percussion, among others. While not teaching, Thomas is a freelance music arranger for various band programs around the state.
Thomas also has an illustrious past as a performer in the marching arts, including Lake Orion High School, Northcoast Academy (2015-2017), The Cavaliers (2015), Carolina Crown (2016), and Cavaliers Indoor (2018). Thomas is forever grateful to the many wonderful people who have taught him at these organizations.
Thomas holds a BA in Philosophy from Oakland University. While at Oakland, he minored in music and performed with the Percussion Ensemble, Wind Symphony and Oakland Symphony Orchestra.
Front Ensemble Instructor
Bee Fairman is a Front Ensemble Instructor for Winter Drumline. She is a graduate of Dakota High School and this is her first season instructing at Dakota. She marched two seasons on vibraphone and six seasons on marimba while attending Dakota. Her senior year, she was center marimba and section leader for both fall and winter seasons. Bee is majoring in music education at Grand Valley State University to pursue a career teaching band.
Front Ensemble Instructor/Electronics