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International Drum Month - Matt Timman Spotlight

International Drum Month - Matt Timman Spotlight
By Musician Spotlights • Issue #2 • View online
Happy International Drum Month! To celebrate, we’re spotlighting our percussionists, starting with Matt, with a little get-to-know-you.

Question 1: Could you tell me a little bit about yourself?
My name is Matt Timman. I’m originally from Toledo, Ohio. I did my bachelors and masters degrees in music in Ohio before moving to Arizona in 2014 to pursue my Doctor of Musical Arts degree with a minor in Ethnomusicology, which I finished in 2018.
I live in Tucson, Arizona and I play with orchestras throughout Arizona, California, and of course, Oregon. Among the orchestras I often play with are: Tucson Symphony, Flagstaff Symphony, Sierra Vista Symphony, Arizona Opera Orchestra and North State Symphony.
Question 2: What brought or inspired you to pursue percussion? Do have a favorite piece of music or two you’d like to share?
When I was in 6th grade I either wanted to play percussion or trumpet. They had too many trumpet players so I picked percussion. I’m glad that is how it turned out (no offense to any trumpet players.) I started to get more serious about it when I was in high school, and then decided to go to school to get a music degree. I think the great thing about percussion is how many varied instruments we get to play. It makes it both incredibly difficult and incredibly fun and rewarding. We have to have at least a baseline understanding of good technique and playing on so many instruments which isn’t something that many other orchestral musicians have to wrestle with.
My favorite pieces to play during the course of my career have been primarily by Russian composers. They have a very unique and aggressive use of percussion which always keeps us busy when playing those composers. Some of my favorite memories are playing pieces like Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4. I’ve had the good fortune to have played all of the parts of the Tchaikovsky at different times in my career (timpani, cymbals, bass drum, triangle.)
Question 3: What do you enjoy most about being with the Rogue Valley Symphony?
I think that one of the things I enjoy most about being with the Rogue Valley Symphony (other than the great caliber of musicians) is the audiences. I’ve found that the RVS audiences are some of the most appreciative and enthusiastic audiences that I’ve played for. It is a wonderful experience to share the stage with talented and hard working musicians, but it’s doubly wonderful to have an audience that is excited for what you are bringing to the table. 
Question 4: What do you do when you’re not playing music i.e. what are your hobbies or interests?
When I’m not playing I spend time with my wife (we married in June 2020), my cat, cooking, and watching movies. In addition to my degrees in music I hold certification to teach English as a second language and also do that.
Question 5: Finally, one unusual fact, story, or tidbit about you or your instrument?  
I think that the most unusual thing about percussion is just how many different countries and musical traditions have been absorbed into our battery of instruments. Just to name a few, the modern percussion section has instruments traditionally found in the music of Switzerland, Turkey, Africa, Cuba, China, Egypt. It truly is a worldly affair!
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