Thornock earned the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Puget Sound where he studied organ with Edward Hansen and conducting with Paul Schultz. He earned the Master of Music in Organ Performance and Literature degree from the University of Notre Dame as a student of Craig Cramer and Gail Walton. Thornock earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as a student of Roberta Gary. In 2012, Thornock was awarded a grant from the Tangeman Sacred Music Center to record four representative organs by Paul Fritts and Co. demonstrating the northwest firm's four decades of development.
Dr. Thornock has performed for regional conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the 2008 national convention of the Organ Historical Society, the American Institute of Organ Builders, and has been heard as both an organist and conductor on the nationally syndicated radio programs Pipedreams and With Heart and Voice. He won first prize in the 2010 Strader Organ Playing Competition.