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Published: Monday, September 14, 2009, 12:01 a.m.

Matt Drumm, professional percussionist

  • Matt Drumm plays the timpani in his home studio in Lynnwood on Thursday afternoon.

    Mark Mulligan / The Herald

    Matt Drumm plays the timpani in his home studio in Lynnwood on Thursday afternoon.

This is part of a series of stories about aptly named people. To read more, go to
Q: How did your name direct your career path?
A: My family is musical. My mom is a piano teacher and my sister is working on her doctorate in music, so I was always around music growing up. I played piano and played a little violin and saxophone, and I can't remember exactly, but my mom told me when I was in third grade that I asked to play drums.
I took some lessons and got a rental snare drum. And I kept taking lessons for years and joined the school band in seventh grade. Then I really started playing in every group there was that had percussion in it.
In high school orchestra, I just started really enjoying lessons on the drum set, then I actually took timpani lessons as a junior in high school, and by the end of that, I knew that's what I loved to do.
Q: Would you change your name if you could, and why or why not?
A: I don't think so. It can't do anything but help people remember my name and what I play. It can't do anything but help my career.
Q: If you could choose another career, what would it be?
A: Seriously, aside from childhood dreams, I had wanted to become a pastor. That's about the only other career I've thought about, besides wanting to be a major league baseball player.
Q: How do you know when someone has picked up on the fact that your name is an aptonym?
A: If I had a nickel for every time I've gotten comments, I'd be a rich man. People usually make some comment like, “Oh, I just realized your name and your instrument,” or they ask, “Is that your real name?” and I say, “Uh … yeah.”
Q: How do people react to the combination of your name and job? Do they get it? Any funny stories as a result?
A: One of the funniest stories was that a friend of mine, we were at a musical festival and she was working in the music library and I was playing, and it happened to be an off-stage part; sometimes pieces call for the musician to be off stage when they're playing, and so actually the part read on the music folder “Off-Stage Drum,” so my friend had added an extra “M” at the drum part. I thought that was very funny. Very subtle.
Story tags » Lynnwood

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