It flowed through his family from his grandfather and Thornbill went to college on a music scholarship and played with the North Carolina Symphony.
When he took the helm of Ruth's Chris Steak House last year, he set up a free concert series.
"I looked at the restaurant and saw that Sundays are kind of the slow days during the summer and thought music would be the perfect thing," Thornbill said during an interview with The Park Record. "Throughout the year, we do live music every Friday and Saturday.
"We have a lot of great local musicians that come up — Matt Frey, who everybody loves, plays every Friday night and Chris Bender and his group play on Saturdays," Thornbill said. "We also present Sunday concerts, which, last year, were more like showcases."
"We booked three different acts that would be from all over the board — reggae, country, high-school punk rock," he said. "They would play for free because they were eager to play somewhere. Their friends and families would come up and they'd have CD release parties and things like that.
"It was fun because they were excited and the excitement was contagious," Thornbill said. " the end of the summer we had huge crowds, because the concerts were free."
Thornbill decided to switch things up a bit this year.
"I wanted to do this because the control the quality of the types of bands we book," he said.
Some of the changes include the start time.
"Instead of 6 p.m., the shows start at 5 p.m. with an opening act that is usually an emerging artist," Thornbill said. "Then between 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. we'll have the headliner coming."
In addition to the time change, Thornbill budgeted to allow him to book more paid musicians.
"The concerts will still be free for the public, but the musicians won't play for free," he said. "And we have some really exciting names coming up."
The Ruth's Chris Steak House outdoor concerts for the next four weeks are as follows:
Aug. 11 — Codi Jordan Band
Aug. 18 — Sin City Soul
Aug. 25. — Joy & Eric
Sept. 1 — Urban Bleu
"Codi is a really good guy and very laid back," Thornbill said. "In fact, he's my son's hero."
Sin City Soul recently played at Ruth's Chris, and will make a return engagement on Aug. 18.
"They rock things up and bit and the last time we had them, we got a noise complaint, but it came when we were finishing up," Thornbill said with a smile.
Joy & Eric will perform Aug. 25.
"Everybody has been asking for us to get them," Thornbill said. "I heard them at the Riverhorse and thought they were great."
On Sept. 1, the place will rock with Urban Bleu.
"I'm looking forward to that show," Thornbill said.
The rest of September will be a wonderful project, he said.
"We're going to work out something more, but don't have things all lined up, yet," Thornbill said.
One of the misconceptions about the Ruth's Chris outdoor concerts is that people need to buy dinner to attend.
"That is not the case," Thornbill said. "No one has to buy a big steak dinner to come see the Sunday concerts. I mean, if they want to, they can, and we do offer some of our dishes at a discounted price. But people can bring their own pizzas or whatever they want."
The stage is located outside behind the hotel between the swimming pool and the putting green.
"I put tables around and we set up a bar and sell wine and beer," Thornbill said. "The idea isn't to sell anything really, but to celebrate local music, although we will have some traveling musicians who will ask to play."
All of this has the support of Hotel Park City owner Glen Overton, Thornhill said.
"When his kids were young, they traveled as a family music act," Thornhill said. "Anyway, when we're talking about budget cuts during shoulder season, he will not let me cut the music.
"No matter what else we cut during the slow seasons, we never cut the music because it's such a big part of what we do," he said.
For more information about the Ruth's Chris Steak House outdoor concerts, visit www.ruthschris.com or call (435) 940-5070.