The @Percussion Podcast

The @Percussion Podcast header image 1

The @Percussion - Episode 180 - John Tafoya

August 16, 2019

180 - John Tafoya

John Tafoya serves as Chairman of the percussion department and is Professor of Percussion at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. From 1999-2007 he served as principal timpanist for the National Symphony Orchestra and has held previous principal timpani positions with the American Wind Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Owensboro Symphony (KY), the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra (IN) and the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra.
John Tafoya earned BM and MM degrees in percussion performance from Indiana University. While at I.U., Tafoya was the recipient of the prestigious performer's certificate, first prize winner of the 1985 National Society of Arts and Letters competition, and performed as solo timpanist with the Indiana University Orchestra. Mr. Tafoya's percussion teachers at Indiana University were George Gaber and Gerald Carlyss.
An active educator and sought after clinician, Mr. Tafoya has presented numerous master classes and clinics at universities across the United States. He has also been a featured clinician at the Virginia/D.C. Percussive Arts Society's Day of Percussion and at PASIC (Percussive Arts Society International Convention) 2002, 2006, 2011, and 2018. Mr. Tafoya has served on the music department faculties at the University of Evansville, Kentucky Wesleyan College, Florida International University, and the University of Maryland.
In May 2004, Carl Fischer publications released Mr. Tafoya's first book entitled; "The Working Timpanist's Survival Guide"; offering practical advice on how to prepare and perform orchestral timpani excerpts. The book also includes illustrations displaying various timpani technique and a CD-ROM containing complete timpani parts that can be printed out for further study. His second book, "Beyond The Audition Screen", was released in 2011 and is available through Hal Leonard.

0:00 Intro and Hello
5:20 Favorite pieces? Timpani concertos
18:10 Bartok Sonata
29:30 Students and creative problem solving?
42:00 Dave Samuels.
52:20 As a student were there particular timpanists you tried to emulate?
1:02:24 Food.
1:04:45 Your colleagues?
1:06:40 Your violin background?
1:11:35 Shifting career paths? Range of skill sets, teaching and playing.
1:20:25 Work balance.
1:25:10 How has the role of the timpanist changed in the last century?
1:27:55 Quick quiz... Stephen Covey's 4 quadrants of time management.  
Watch here. Listen below.