Amanda Goedde has served as the PAS Director of Marketing since 2016. Her degree in Marketing and Psychology from Butler University turned into a career in marketing and fundraising in the nonprofit world in Indianapolis and Chicago. In addition to working at PAS, she helps run the cooperative preschool located in Carmel, where she and her husband live with their three children and dog.
Rhythm!Scene: How did you get started in music?
Amanda Goedde: I started taking piano lessons as a young child after my grandma suggested I had the hands for it. I dabbled in a few instruments while I was growing up, including alto saxophone, before landing on choir and musical theater as my favorites.
R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?
AG: I really enjoy the tone of the marimba. My kids and I have actually spent time YouTubing videos of marimba performances. They are so intrigued by the four-mallet grips. They like to try it with crayons.
R!S: What was one of your most memorable performance experiences?
AG: I was able to see so many wonderful performances when I worked at Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras. My most memorable performances happened after our typical season of concerts ended. In the summer every other year, the most advanced orchestra extended their study throughout an international tour. I was fortunate to be able to go on three tours to South America, Europe, and China. I had such an amazing experience really getting to know these students as they were putting their hearts and souls into their music. Seeing them perform for crowds in some of the world’s most beautiful concert halls is something I will never forget. The sense of accomplishment and joy that showed on their faces and the immense feeling of pride I felt as I cheered for them was part of what made that work so spectacular.
R!S: Who were key or memorable teachers in your musical education?
AG: I haven’t been professionally trained in an instrument. That is something that has actually made my work at musical organizations more successful and rewarding. I’m able to give an outsider’s perspective in an organization full of people who are experts in their genre of music. I can help them really dig into the reasons why everyone should be interested in what our organization is doing. I really enjoy being able to help them explain to someone who is not on the inside why our instrument or genre is so special. I’ve learned so many things that a corporate marketing job never could have given me! I’ve also grown to love and appreciate so many different types of music.
R!S: What sort of music activities are part of your job?
AG: Most of my musical activities are sharing the work of others. I often watch our PASIC and social media videos when we are posting them, and I demonstrate our interactive instruments when I give tours of Rhythm! Discovery Center. You’d be surprised how well a non-percussionist can play a giant gong drum and tam-tam!
R!S: What was your introduction to PAS?
AG: It was at PASIC16. Our Executive Director, Joshua Simonds, is one of my long-time friends. He and I worked together in Chicago for nearly a decade. After I got my family settled in Indiana and started my job search, I asked him to be one of my references. He asked if I could help out with PASIC16 while I was looking for something permanent. That was my first few weeks at PAS. It was trial by fire for sure, but I got hooked. Here I am nearly three years later!
R!S: What is one thing you wish all student percussionists knew about PAS?
AG: I wish they knew that they have an amazing amount of resources available to help them in their percussion studies and future careers through PAS. They have a local PAS chapter that likely holds a Day of Percussion within driving distance from them. And even if they don’t have an event within driving distance, they have access online to the best and brightest in the percussion industry with articles and videos from past PASIC conventions and PAS publications. PAS is here to support them and advance their love of percussion.
R!S: What’s the first section you read in a new issue of Percussive Notes or Rhythm!Scene?
AG: I read the Society Update first. I like to be sure that my plan for communications matches our focus for the upcoming month.
R!S: What is your most prized percussion- or music-related souvenir?
AG: I have a small djembe that was retired from Rhythm! Discovery Center. It has been a big hit in the house since the day I brought it home.
R!S: If you aren’t working for PAS, what are you doing?
AG: When I’m not at work, I am hanging out with my kids and husband. We’re either working in the house or yard, or out and about trying new things in the Carmel and Indianapolis area. I also spend a lot of time on my role as a board member of the cooperative preschool the twins attend. I get to work with some incredible parents and teachers. As part of the co-op model, I am a teacher’s aide in class once a week. It is so fun to be included in their day at school. It’s like I have seven other adopted four-year-olds. Watching them all grow and learn is one of my favorite things, and I am constantly learning how to better help them on their path to becoming adults.
R!S: What music or station is playing when you turn on your car?
AG: 92.3 WTTS, a local rock station in Indianapolis and Bloomington. It’s been one of my favorite stations since I was an intern there during college. I love the mixture of classic and recent songs they play. I really missed it when we were in Chicago.
R!S: What’s the first app you open on your phone or first program you start on your computer each morning?
AG: If it’s one of my days at school or home with the kids, I check the weather to decide the plan for the day. One of the first questions they ask me is if we get to go outside. If it’s a work day, I log in to Google Chrome to open Gmail, Calendar, Slack, etc. and see what’s been happening and what we need to work on today at the office.
R!S: If you could tell your 18-year-old self one piece of musical advice, what would it be?
AG: When you get an offer to go to a concert, take it. Whether it’s a friend’s recital in college, a local band playing at a bar, a mainstream concert in an arena, or an orchestral performance, go and experience it all. Live music has an amazing impact that is hard to understand until you’re there listening to it.