Percussionist Fred Morgan is the principal timpanist of the Duluth Superior Symphony. He received his BM in percussion performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the study of Jack Van Geem and his MM from the New England Conservatory under the tutelage of Will Hudgins. Other teachers have included David Herbert, James Lee Wyatt, and Alan Hall. Fred played William Kraft's first timpani concerto with the Oakland East Bay Symphony in 2003 as a winner of the orchestra's Young Artist Competition. Fred was a member of the San Francisco Youth Symphony from 1997-2002. He has performed as a timpanist and percussionist in the Hong Kong Philharmonic, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony. Fred performs with SF Symphony brass and boys choir at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. He has participated in the music festivals of Spoleto USA, Schleswig-holstein, Music Academy of the West, National Repertory Orchestra, Bear Valley, and the Aspen Music Festival. Contemporary engagements include work with the Sprocket Ensemble and performances and recordings of the music of Erling Wold. In the Bay Area he regularly subs on the freeway philharmonic circuit.
When did you start playing your instrument? I started played music in middle school band in seventh grade. That was my first exposure to playing music of any kind and I started as percussionist.
Why did you choose your instrument? I liked rock music and I wanted to play in a band.
Are you from a musical family? Not at all.
Do you play any other instruments? Just a bunch of struck instruments.
What makes your instrument special? The possibilities of percussion instruments and the musical diversities are endless. It's a constant discovery for a lifetime.
What advice would you give to kids learning to play your instrument? If you feel that magnetic pull just go with it. Learning to play any instrument is truly a great gift and a great insight. If your heart tells you to go, just go!!
If you could play a different instrument, what would it be? Definitely would be the trumpet or bass trombone. Fascinating instruments and I really wished I had learned to play one.
Favorite composers: Beethoven and Mahler
Guilty musical secret: I used to be a big death metal fan. Sometimes I still pull out my king diamond LPs.
Funny Musical Experience: When I was 12 I started music because I had band on my schedule. I told my advisor I wasn't interested in being in band, "what were my other options?" He said an art class. I said I have to be in band because I will fail art. The rest was history for me, that band class planted a seed that changed my life.
Most exciting musical moment: Playing Mahler 3 with the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
What might your career be if you hadn’t chosen to be a musician? Not quite sure…
Hobbies: Bikram yoga once in a while.
Hometown: Daly City, CA
Interesting personal fact: I'm a much bigger health food advocate than I used to be. I'm kind of a big guy so usually one wouldn't think that eating healthy would be an extreme priority for someone like me.
What are your three favorite movies? Mad Max (the 1st one), Coming to America, Ghostbusters (stay puff)
What good book have you read most recently? Art Taylor - Notes and Tones
Favorite Tucson restaurant: Punjab
Three favorite possessions: My turntable, 1 Chaka Khan record, and 1 drum of any kind.