1 EAGLETON NOTES: What Is It About Percussionists?

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Tuesday, 18 August 2009

What Is It About Percussionists?

Many years ago when I was a wee slip of a youth in my late teens I started to go regularly to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall to see the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. At that time there were two percussionists: John Ward (I hope that my memory is not letting me down) and Jean Webster. I was completely captivated by the musicians' skills and particularly, for some reason, by Jean Webster. What was really strange was that when I watched the Proms the other night one of the National Youth Orchestra's percussionists was remarkably like Jean Webster (though her hair was longer). Or was it just my imagination?

As an aside I wonder if Jean Webster was one of the longest serving percussionists with any orchestra in the UK? She retired as principal percussionist of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in the early 2000s so she must have been with them for about 40 years. That's quite a long time in any one's life.

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