Heartland Marimba

Celebrating classical marimba year-round with communities, artists, and students!

Blog: Abby Fisher

This is a big week for HM! The HMFestival (formerly the Academy) is in full swing at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. We have been honored to have Gordon  Stout, a world renown marimbist and composer, here for the excitement at the Academy. Yet to come this week are the concerts, which you can check out on our Events page.

Another prominent figure at the Academy is one of our own, HMQuartet member, Abby Fisher. Abby is one of the five members in the HMQ. She is the first-call substitute for HMQ, hence the five members. Abby is based in New York and specializes in contemporary, classical, and African (Ewe) percussion. Be sure to check out her website to see her in her niche at abbyfisherpercussion.com.

What are some key factors that led to your career as a musician?

AF: I grew up taking music lessons: piano since age 5, cello for a few years, and then percussion in the band program at school and private lessons. My parents are not musicians, but they always thought it was important for my sister and me to study music. When we were young, my dad would make sure we practiced piano by standing with us, next to the piano and counting along.

I decided to audition for university music programs the summer before my senior year after attending a music program for the first time- Birch Creek Music Performance Center (Symphony Session), and realizing that I really enjoyed being fully immersed in music! While I was studying at Lawrence University (Appleton, WI) for my undergrad, I fully intended to have a career in music and tried to work hard enough (and continue to) to make this a reality.

What individual or group of people guided you in your passion for music?

AF: My parents are incredibly hard workers and have always encouraged me. I have been blessed with many brilliant and supportive teachers. My first percussion teacher Joe Ludwig was a huge inspiration, and taught me that music and percussion are fun! Dane Richeson and James Saporito pushed me to be a stronger player; Beverly Johnston and Eduardo Leandro inspired me through their work, and in turn helped me find my voice.

Outside of music, what interests do you have?

AF: Listening to podcasts; running; yoga

Tell us any more important information.

AF: I recently finished my DMA at Stony Brook University (May 2017), and this is the first time I am out of school! For this coming Fall 2017, I will be starting as a temporary percussion instructor at University of Tennessee, Knoxville while Dr. Andrew Bliss is on sabbatical. I am very excited to work with the students at UT!

Give a list of upcoming musical/ marimba projects.

AF: -Working on a video project of Ghanaian Ewe Drumming with Faith Conant at Stony Brook University (August 2017)

-Performing All Your Thens for Now by Lawton Hall for solo vibraphone, speaking voice, and camera at PASIC (November 2017)


The HMF Blog interviews featuring our people are compiled and prepared by our 2017 intern, Scott Eiklenborg (a percussion student at Wartburg College, Waverly, IA).