Bobby Everson, Principal Timpani
When did you begin to play your instrument?
When I was four years old, my mother asked if I’d like piano or violin lessons. I replied, “I want to play drums.” Well, drums not being one of the choices, I ended up studying piano for many years. Finally, in fifth grade, I got to join the school band and opted for drums as my instrument (the school didn’t own timpani so I learned the other percussion instruments instead). After my freshman year in High School, the band director gave me the chance to try out the timpani and that has been my main instrument ever since.
Do you play any other instruments?
I still play and teach percussion but mainly stick to timpani.
Where did you study your main instrument; with whom?
I earned both my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Percussion Performance from DePaul University; my teachers included Al Payson, Mike Green and, later, Salvatore Rabbio of the Detroit Symphony. I also owe a big thank-you to Don Koss, who has mentored me for many years.
When did you join ESO?
What other orchestras have you played with/do you play with now?
I’m a member of the Chicago Philharmonic, the Lake Forest Symphony and the Chicago Sinfonietta; I’ve also subbed frequently with the Chicago Symphony, Grant Park Symphony and Lyric Opera Orchestra. During the summers I play and teach in Door County at the Birch Creek Summer Music Academy, and I’m also a member of the Midwest Mozart Festival Orchestra and the Ravinia Festival Orchestra.
What was your most memorable ESO performance?
I will never forget the ESO’s performance of Shostakovich’s 11th Symphony, early in Maestro Grams’ tenure. To me the orchestra has never sounded better – we were absolutely on top of our game. That symphony is such fantastic music! We rarely have the privilege to perform it and we nailed it.
What are some of your interests, and how are you passing the time?
Bobby Everson is famous for his healthy exercise and eating habits; when he’s not out riding his recumbent bicycle he can often be found at home whipping up a delicious smoothie. Here’s the recipe for his most recent creation, the Quarantine Edition Smoothie:
Gather together 16-20 oz Silk Almond Milk, 1 bag Fresh Start Smoothie blend (kale, spinach, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry), 1 heaping scoop of Orgain Organic Protein powder, 1 spoonful of cinnamon (this is why I am always at Penzey’s Spices), and ½ spoonful matcha powder (I don’t drink coffee so this is my morning cup of zoom). Blend until smooth, pour into an appropriate drinking horn (mine is from Crate and Barrel) and enjoy.
This makes two glassfuls, which is about what it takes to get a 6 ½ foot guy moving.
Note: under different circumstances I’d substitute fresh fruit and veggies for some of the ingredients, but those can be hard to find and store right now.