Hillary Henry serves as Publications Production Manager for the Percussive Arts Society. She is primarily responsible for Percussive Notes and Rhythm!Scene, unless it is PASIC season, in which case it is full throttle PASIC and publications. Hillary ensures timely delivery of all PAS publications (from processing and warehousing articles to final layout), apps, and promotional materials.
Rhythm!Scene: How did you get started in music?
Hillary Henry: In 4th grade. I am not sure if that is how schools do it now, but that is when someone “tested” me and recommended an instrument based on those results. My consultant recommended the cello, so that’s what I went with.
R!S: Who were key or memorable teachers in your musical education?
HH: My private teacher, John Duckwall; he always made time for his students. He and his wife, who taught violin and viola, would host studio performances at their home several times per year. That was a great, safe place to start performing in front of others. He charged very little for private lessons, and his passion for music motivated him to continue teaching well into his 80s.
R!S: What was one of your most memorable performances as a student musician?
HH: I played in Chicago Youth Symphony for two years. I was fortunate enough to go on a European tour with the group. I also spent a few weeks in Austria performing with the Wheaton Symphony. Definitely, both were memorable events.
R!S: What was your introduction to PAS?
HH: I read a classified ad in Lawton, Oklahoma, looking for a graphic designer. That was in September 1997, and I’ve been going strong with the society ever since!
R!S: If you aren't working for PAS, what are you doing?
HH: Playing duplicate bridge. Most people don’t know this about me, but I am ranked as an American Contract Bridge League Bronze Lifemaster. As of late, I have been playing exclusively online. I like competing worldwide instead of just playing in local games or tournaments. During the fall, I spend time watching college football. Anyone who lives in Oklahoma is either a Sooners or Cowboys fan. It is unlike anything I have experienced in my life. During the warmer months, I enjoy mowing the yard. We live on five acres, and nothing is better than soaking up sun, listening to music, and mowing on full speed!
R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?
HH: I would say drumset, especially when listening to music through my headphones.
R!S: What is one thing you wish all student percussionists knew about PAS?
HH: Community. If all they do is attend PASIC annually, they will be part of the percussion community. I guarantee friendships will be forged that are lasting.
R!S: What’s the first section you read in a new issue of Percussive Notes or Rhythm!Scene?
HH: The first article that I receive for layout!
R!S: What music or station is playing when you turn on your car?
HH: There is absolutely no telling! Who was driving my car last? Seriously, if I am driving a short distance and alone, I surf channels. I have set favorites with satellite radio including Lithium, ’80s on 8, ’90s on 9, Pop 2K, Hair Nation, Classic Rewind. If I am driving a longer distance, Howard Stern is my driving companion.
R!S: What’s the first app you open on your phone or first program you start on your computer each morning?
HH: BBO (Bridge Base Online). I check to see how I placed in the previous day’s Day Long Tournaments. After that, straight on to emails.
R!S: If you could tell your 18-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
HH: Love what you do.