Jacob Lipham joined the Charlotte Symphony as Principal Timpanist in 2020. Prior to that, he was the Principal Timpanist in The Orchestra Now (TŌN), a training orchestra located at Bard College.
Originally from Daphne, Alabama, Lipham began his percussion/timpani studies with Luis Rivera at the University of South Alabama. He attended Indiana University for his Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion Performance, where he studied a variety of percussion with John Tafoya, Kevin Bobo, Steve Houghton, and Michael Spiro. He has also studied with Jason Haaheim, Jeremy Epp, Dean Borghesani, and other artists of great influence.
Off StageHow were you introduced to music and the timpani?
I began studying piano at a young age, around five, and really enjoyed it. When I got to middle school I decided to join the band. When it was time to pick my instrument for the band, the array of percussion instruments in the back of the room looked very enticing to play! Many of the kids wanted to play percussion, so my middle school band director prioritized students who had studied piano to join the percussion section. Thankfully I had studied piano, so I was able to begin playing percussion, and the rest is history!
My decision to pursue orchestral timpani happened in my collegiate studies. I received my Bachelor's Degree in Percussion Performance at The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. While at Indiana University, I was introduced to a diverse range of percussion styles and fields of work. The experience I found the most excitement and joy through was playing timpani in the orchestra. The diverse sounds, colors, and roles the timpani can provide within an orchestra, in addition to the thrill of creating music beside colleagues, was more than enough to convince myself to narrow my pursuit to an orchestral career.
What do you look forward to most about living and working in Charlotte?
I moved to Charlotte recently, and I am very excited to explore and get to know the city more. The culture seems vibrant, diverse, and welcoming. I can't wait to explore the vast restaurant and brewery scene, and check out the local sport teams! I am so thrilled to be a new member of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, to begin making music with my new fantastic colleagues, and seeing you all from the stage hopefully soon!