Lisa Rogers is Professor of Percussion Studies at Texas Tech University, where she teaches applied studies and directs ensembles such as the Texas Tech Steel Drum Band, “Apocalypso Now.” She attended Texas State University and Texas Tech University for her undergraduate and graduate studies and received a DMA degree in percussion performance from the University of Oklahoma. She is a Past President of PAS and Executive Director of the National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy. Rogers also serves as Associate Research Editor for Percussive Notes and is Principal Timpanist of the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra.
Rhythm! Scene: If you weren't a university percussion professor, what career could you see yourself having pursued?
Lisa Rogers: I would still be involved in music as an elementary-school music teacher.
R!S: What's one thing in your institution or city/town (other than your school of music or music department) that you are proud to tell people about?
LR: Lubbock, Texas is considered the home of Buddy Holly and Natalie Maines of the Chicks!
R!S: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
LR: I was a clarinet player who developed an allergy to reeds; therefore, I didn’t start playing percussion until I was a senior in high school.
R!S: What is your favorite percussion instrument and why?
LR: Vibraphone is my favorite percussion instrument. I believe the vibraphone is capable of producing such a wide sound spectrum, allowing me to be quite creative.
R!S: Where did you grow up and what’s one interesting thing about your childhood (musically or otherwise)?
LR: I grew up in Port Lavaca, Texas, which is a small town on the Texas Gulf Coast. Living on the Texas Gulf Coast meant also living with the imminent threat of hurricanes. Several times when a hurricane was forecast, my family evacuated. Evacuation meant filling our car(s) with cherished items that were not replaceable, such as family photos or the “good china” and leaving town. During my senior year in high school, we had to evacuate, and I had the school xylophone at my house. I rolled the xylophone out to our family car, as it was so valuable to me. My Mom took one look and told me to roll it back in the house. I didn’t quite understand, and then she asked what my Dad did for a living. I said, “He sells insurance.” She said, “Duh, insurance will cover that xylophone if the hurricane demolishes our house.” Luckily the hurricane missed us, and I was reunited a few days later with the xylophone!