Bart Mendoza 9 p.m., Dec. 17
RIYL: Vic Firth
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Influences: Vic Firth, Hector Berlioz, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Hindemith, Stuart Marrs, Tim Genis
Jason Ginter formerly fronted a chamber music group called VariedDuo. As of 2009, he is the principal timpanist for the San Diego Symphony, beating out nearly 100 applicants for the position. He’s a 2003 graduate of the Cincinnati Conservatory, with a bachelor’s degree in percussion. Before landing the SDS gig, he played with the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra in Oberlin and the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.
SDS conductor Jahja Ling told Ginter’s hometown Ohio newspaper, “His playing has a great sense of ensemble and color…The timpani’s very important. It’s like the backbone of an orchestra.” The timpani is a type of drum, with its head stretched over a large bowl usually made of copper. It is played by striking the head with a timpani stick or mallet. Unlike most drums, it produces a specific pitch and can be tuned, often with the use of a pedal.
Ginter is also the owner of JGpercussion, which manufactures handmade American timpani and bass drum mallets. The company uses only straight bamboo with no knots; this lightweight bamboo is sought by players looking for a stick that is agile and moves quickly off the head. Each pair is sewn by hand with high-quality American and German felt.