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Timothy Jepson, Principal Timpani

Timothy Jepson became principal timpanist of the Kansas City Symphony in August 1983. He began his career as a professional timpanist at age 18 while he was a student at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Jepson is Western Iowa native and a member of an immediate and extended musical family with a continuing legacy of musicians, music educators, and performers including his sister, opera mezzo soprano, Kristine Jepson. An honor graduate of Morningside College, Jepson also studied timpani with Salvatore Rabbio, retired timpanist of the Detroit Symphony. Jepson has served as percussionist with the Kansas City Brass since 1991, as well as timpanist and percussionist with the Sunflower Music Festival in Topeka, Kan., and the Western Slope Music Festival in Crested Butte, Colo. He has been an active educator, clinician, adjudicator and marching percussion specialist and has served on the faculty of Washburn University in Topeka, Kan. Jepson is an artist with the Sabian Cymbal Company and proudly endorses JG Timpani Mallets, Kappert, and JG Timpani Mallets. Jepson has served as a volunteer and been an elected representative to virtually every committee or position representing his colleagues with the Kansas City Symphony, including the Symphony’s Board of Trustees. He also has represented the musicians as their delegate to the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM), and he served as an executive board member of the Kansas City Federation of Musicians, Local 34. Jepson has two sons, Christian and Matthew. Christian is active in his high school’s music department playing the double bass and electric bass, and he studies Historic European Martial Arts with the Kansas City Swordsman Guild. Matthew plays percussion, participates in indoor Winter Guard (flags, rifles, etc.), and studies the Japanese language.

Ten questions about me:

What is your earliest musical memory?

Singing with my family in church and community choirs.

How did you choose your instrument?

It chose me. I wanted to play trombone when I was in the fifth grade choosing an instrument to play in the band. I was encouraged to try a drum we had at home that had belonged to my brother. The rest is history.

When did you know you wanted to be a professional musician?

I began to get encouragement from several mentors when I began playing professionally in an orchestra at the age of 18.

Other than your Kansas City Symphony concerts, where else can audiences catch you performing in town?

I perform as percussionist with the Kansas City Brass.

What is the best part about being a musician in the Kansas City Symphony?

The friendships and "family" that develop working so closely with such talented people.

Tell us about your family and your hobbies.

I am married to Deann Jepson, a workforce development specialist with the Addictions Technology Transfer Center's National Office. I have two sons, Christian, 12, and Matthew, 9. When time allows, I enjoy Do It Yourself projects around the home and hanging out with my sons.

What quality do you most admire in others?


Who would play you in a movie?

Paul Giamatti

What is your Kansas City Barbecue "joint" of choice?

Li'l Jake's Boulevard Barbeque