On Tuesday, March the 24th, Pittsburgh Orchestra Timpanist Ed Stephen presented a Master Class to the percussion ensemble. A master class is a lesson given by an expert, typically in the performing arts, to elite students. He gave detailed lessons about snare drums, and especially timpani, as well as drills and other forms of practice. A timpani is a large, metal
drum with a pitch.

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Junior Jared Pekich, pictured above,  was especially interested in Mr. Stephen’s lesson. Here is his opinion on the lesson:
“What impressed me more than anything was not the playing itself, but how much time he put into making that ability a tangible skill that I can use fluently and effortlessly under any level of pressure.”
Jared thought that “the results were fantastic, and that Mr. Stephen showed so much devotion to his interests was very impressive.”
“Mr. Stephen promotes letting the stick {timpani mallet} bounce all the way back till it hits your chest” says Pekich about some details from the lesson. “Although the method looks funny, you can hear an improvement in sound when practicing this lesson.”

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Jared states that ‘this man is an inspiration to far more than just percussionists. Everyone has their own hobbies, and he proved through decades of devotion and loyalty to the mastery of his passion, that motivation is the key to success.’

Overall, Jared says that he ‘enjoyed hearing young percussionists’ answers to questions, and see them slowly realize the difference between proper technique and playing sloppy.’

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