Dr. John Wooton is the director of percussion studies at The University of Southern Mississippi. He is well versed in many percussion instruments but has specialized in rudimental snare drum, drum set, marimba, vibraphone and steel pans. Dr. Wooton directs the Percussion Ensemble, Steel Pan Orchestra, Graduate Percussion Ensemble and the Samba Band. He also performs regularly on steel pans as a soloist or with his band, KAISO!, and plays vibes for the USM Jazz Quintet.
From 1988 to 1992, he served as percussion coordinator/pep band director for the University of Iowa bands. As an instructor and performer, Dr. Wooton has been associated with five P.A.S.I.C. Marching Percussion Forum champions. He marched snare drum for four years with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps of Rockford, Ill. (1981-84). During those years, Dr. Wooton held the Drum Corps Midwest Individual Snare Drum title and the Percussive Arts Society Snare Drum Individual title. From 1987 to 1989, he served as the percussion caption head for the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. For the 1990-91 drum corps seasons, he served as program coordinator/percussion arranger for “Nite Express” Drum and Bugle Corps of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Since joining the faculty at Southern Miss, Dr. Wooton, along with establishing a strong percussion studio, has introduced the USM Steel Band, Pop Percussion Ensemble, Samba Band and Salsa Band. He has served as the president of the Percussion Arts Society, Mississippi Chapter, and is presently a member of the Percussive Arts Society Marching Committee. Dr. Wooton gives clinics around the world representing Pearl Drums, SABIAN Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks., Remo Drum Heads and Row Loff Productions Publications.