John A. Wooton

Professor of Music; Director of Percussion Studies

About the Studio


Dr. John Wooton is the director of percussion studies at The University of Southern Mississippi. A native of Lafayette, La., he has received degrees from the University of Iowa, the University of North Texas and the University of Southwestern Louisiana. Dr. Wooton plays vibraphone for the Southern Miss Jazz Quintet and leads his professional steel band “Kaiso!” playing steel pans. 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 Percussive Arts Society Inernational Convention (PASIC) 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, 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. In 1990, Dr. Wooton was their percussion consultant. 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, Wooton, along with establishing a strong percussion studio, has introduced the Southern Miss Steel Band, Pop Percussion Ensemble, Samba Band and Salsa Band. He has served as the president of the Percussion Arts Society, Mississippi Chapter, and has been a member of the Percussive Arts Society Marching Committee since 1990. Dr. Wooton is a clinician for Pearl Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks, Remo Drum Heads, and Row Loff Publications. He is member of the Vic Firth Education Team and is featured demonstrating all 40 snare drum rudiments on the Vic Firth Web site at

Recently he has performed clinics and concerts at the England Day of Percussion in Birmingham, England, the Patagonia Percussion Festival in General Roca, Argentina, Rimtos de Terra in Campinas, Brazil, Festival Internacional de Percussion in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Percusion Festival Internacional III in Cordoba, Argentina, Alberta Day of Percussion in Alberta, Canada and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. Within the United States Dr. Wooton has given clinics, recitals and concerts in all but two states. Dr. Wooton has authored two books and numerous rudimental snare drum solos and marching percussion ensemble pieces. Most recently, his book “Dr. Throwdown’s Rudimental Remedies” consists of a two hour DVD, 951 play along tracks and 25 lessons. “The Drummer’s Rudimental Reference Book” is a staple amongst universities throughout the U.S. and abroad.

About Dr. Wooton’s Rudimental Reference Book, Thomas L. Davis said “Perhaps the most definitive rudimental technique book of our time.” These books and several of Dr. Wooton’s other compositions and videos are published by Row Loff Productions at For more information about Dr. Wooton, including videos, publications, downloads and much more, go to