Sandy Thorburn (born 1963) is a noted Canadian composer, arranger, theatre director, musical director, and academic, specializing in Canadian musical theatre. He is the only Canadian musical scholar to specialize in Canadian musical theatre.
He holds a Bachelor of Music (Honours) from McGill University, a Graduate Diploma in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television from the University of Southern California, and a Master's Degree and a PhD in musicology from the University of Toronto. He is also one of a very few Canadian academics who have studied with notable film composers Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, Bruce Broughton, Henry Mancini, and Buddy Baker at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music in composition for motion pictures and television. He worked as an orchestrator for several American television programs including In the Heat of the Night, and worked as an orchestrator for several Hollywood Films including Star Trek V.
He has been resident musical director of The Thousand Islands Playhouse since 1986, and has musically directed numerous musicals including Man of La Mancha, Little Shop of Horrors, Dads in Bondage, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Shooting of Dan McGrew, Anne of Green Gables (1997, 1998, 2005), Guys and Dolls (1998, 1999), Oliver!, Anne Chislett and David Archibald's The Perilous Pirate's Daughter, The Music Man (2004), The Beggar's Opera (2006), Anne and Gilbert (2007) by Nancy White, Jeff Hochhauser, and Bob Johnston. This production holds the distinction of being the only Canadian musical given a rave review by Variety Magazine. He also musically directed Glorious!, Les Misérables (2008), Forever Plaid, The Drowsy Chaperone (2009) and Blood Brothers (2010).
He has also directed two highly regarded productions including Forever Plaid (2009) which was remounted at the Victoria Playhouse, Petrolia, and subsequently at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre near Toronto, Canada and Billy Bishop Goes to War (2011) by John Gray, which will be remounted a the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope in 2012.
He has also been associated with Silvermist Productions in Niagara Falls, working as Musical Director and Music Supervisor for several productions, including Disney's Beauty and the Beast, the Canadian premiere of High School Musical II, and a Geoffrey Whynot's Ebenezer Scrooge: A Carol for Christmas (2009), and he directed a highly acclaimed production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat(2011) starring Jersey Boys star, Adrian Marchuk as Joseph.
He has taught music history, theory, ear training, performance and composition at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where he organized the Over the Waves international conference on music in/and broadcasting, as well as at the Faculty of Music, Scarborough College, and Knox College  at the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, the University of Western Ontario, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Lakehead University in Orillia. He has also taught musical theatre performance at St. Lawrence College in Brockville.
Thorburn is preparing a volume on Music and Broadcasting for Oxford University Press called Over the Waves with co-editors James Deaville (Carleton) and Christina Baade (McMaster).
Film Music, Television and Radio Credits
He spent several years (1990–93) as composer for CBC-Newsworld (now CBC News Network), composing themes for Ideas on Camera, The Media File, The Medicine File, The Passionate Eye, Vis-A-Vis, and other programs. More recently, he has appeared on In Performance with Eric Friesen, and was musical consultant and researcher for the new CBC2 series Peter The Symphony, hosted by Friesen, with Toronto Symphony Orchestra conductor Peter Oundjian.
He has been organist and choir director of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Toronto since 2006, and was also made director of music at Deer Park United Church since 2009. He previously held the same position at Celebration Presbyterian Church on Coldstream Avenue in Toronto. He is a regular lecturer and speaker on music, opera, theatre, and musical theatre, and has been a member of the Canadian Opera Company Speakers Bureau since 1999. He is a lecturer at Knox College, University of Toronto in Music in Christian Spirituality.