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Drumroll, please!

New baroque timpani supported by John and Amanda Sherrington
June 6, 2024

John and Amanda Sherrington began attending TSO concerts shortly after arriving in Toronto in the 1970s, and their involvement with the orchestra has deepened over the last 50 years. They are longtime subscribers, Maestro's Club, and Music Director's Circle donors. John is a past Chair of the Toronto Symphony Foundation and current Co-Chair of the Honorary Governors’ Circle. John and Amanda are also members of the Legacy Circle, which recognizes patrons who have included the TSO in their estate plans.

In 2023, following an enthusiastic conversation with Music Director Gustavo Gimeno, the Sherringtons made a generous donation which supported a new set of baroque timpani. Gimeno — who began his career as a percussionist in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra —  and the TSO’s percussionists are passionate about the sound they will create.

“These drums present an amazing opportunity for the TSO to bring the truest sound to classical and early romantic repertoire,” shared Assistant Principal Timpani and Section Percussion Joseph Kelly. “When composers like Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven were writing music, they had a sound in mind for the timpani given what was available at that time. These were smaller, simpler drums with natural-skin drum heads, typically calf or goat, and were played with wooden sticks. They had a more articulate and punchy sound than the modern timpani we play today, and that particular sound was reflected in the way those composers wrote for the drums.”

“The new timpani are a top-of-the-line representation of drums that would have existed in that time period,” Kelly continued. “They are exceptionally well-crafted and sound absolutely stunning while upholding the sonic integrity a timpanist is looking for when playing this kind of repertoire." 

The TSO's newly acquired baroque timpani will make their on-stage debut in the performances of Mendelssohn's Violin on June 6, 8, and 9, 2024. 

In addition to reinforcing their love for the orchestra and their confidence in Gimeno's leadership, the Sherringtons made this special gift last year to celebrate the 40th birthday of their son, Alexander, a drumming enthusiast. With their generous donation, the Sherringtons have helped enrich the TSO's musical journey, echoing the sounds of the past into the TSO’s present and future.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra thanks John and Amanda Sherrington for their generous support. If you're inspired to share your love of music, donate today and your donation will be matched! Visit TSO.CA/Match for more information, or call Donor Services at 416.598.5311.

Photo: Assistant Principal Percussion Nicholas Matthiesen, Assistant Principal Timpani and Percussion Joseph Kelly, John Sherrington, Amanda Sherrington, Principal Percussion Charles Settle, Principal Timpani David Kent, Music Director Gustavo Gimeno, Alex Sherrington, and Chelsea Sherrington gather around the new Baroque timpani before a rehearsal on June 6, 2024.