I first started playing drums at six years old. There was just something about the world of percussion that caught my eye and ear from the beginning. 13 years later, I had not only fallen in love with the art of drumming, it is now the driving force to my life. In high school, I joined my local youth orchestra and became their principal percussionist during my senior year; my last concert with them was at Carnegie Hall. I had also joined the precollege division of the Manhattan school of Music and was nominated for their top orchestra.
After I graduated, I took a summer percussion seminar at the Eastman school of Music where I got to meet the great timpanist, John Beck. I was absolutely amazed by his experience, and I learned so much in his master class since he had 40+ years of teaching in performing under his belt. I therefore decided to follow in his footsteps as a timpanist. I had also met Bill Cahn during the seminar who told me and the other students something I will never forget. "If you could swap lives with any professional musician, who would it be? Whoever that was, contact them and see if you can get a lesson or two." The person whom I had in mind was Markus Rhoten with the New York Philharmonic. I immediately heeded Bill's advice and sent an e-mail to Markus. A few weeks later, he responded to me, and I am currently one of his private students. I am also a professional ringer with the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut.
I am so blessed to have had these moments in my life, and these are moments that I will cherish for the rest of my life!
In celebration of Vic Firth Company's 50th anniversary, we've spent an entire year celebrating Game-Changing Moments in drumming -- including yours! To everyone who shared a story with us this year, thank you! Drumming is a shared experience and we are all brothers and sisters! Your stories have inspired us to continue making the best sticks possible and to continue changing the game for drummers everywhere.
We received thousands of amazing stories this year. Although it was difficult to choose only one story, we're happy to announce that Joe Russomano is our grand prize winner in the Game-Changing Moments contest!Read Joe's Story