Vic Firth

I started in the music business at age 4 — playing the cornet! I had the worst embouchure and sound you ever heard. I went from there to 50 years with the Boston Symphony Orchestra as Solo Timpanist. In other words, most of my natural life and all of my musical life was spent on the stage at Symphony Hall in Boston. I probably performed in 10,000 concerts during that time. How important has it been? I wouldn’t change one day of it — well, maybe one or two!

As well as performing, I taught full time at the New England Conservatory and received a doctorate degree from them in 1994. Along with that, I started a small drumstick and mallet business which has matured into the largest and finest of its kind in the world. I’ve also been deeply involved in education at all levels. The inspiration I’ve received from observing and coaching young people has been one of my greatest rewards. The young musicians of today are fantastic, and they are the future of the music business. Without them, there is no future.

So I wish Larry Thomas and The [Fender] Music Foundation the greatest success. It’s an honorable pursuit with magnum results.