Get to Know the DSSO: Gene Koshinski, Principal Percussion

Name: Gene Koshinski

Member of DSSO since: 2007

DSSO Position: Principal Percussion

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Music Education – West Chester University
Master of Music and Doctorate of Music Arts – The Hartt School, University of Hartford

What made you decide to pursue a career in music? 
I grew up in a musical family and I don’t ever remember anything else that came close to the idea of playing music for a living.

What has been the highlight of your career thus far? 
It’s the people you meet!

 What made you choose to play percussion? 
My father played drum set, but wasn’t classically trained. Before I was even able to join band in elementary school I already had a deep passion for “rocking out” on the kit. That was all the confirmation I needed…

What’s the most challenging thing about playing percussion?
There’s no room to hide! Often, you’re out there on your own, and to top it off there is little forgiveness on our instruments. Perhaps the most challenging aspect is also the best aspect – we get to play different instruments ALL THE TIME! Sure, it’s hard to master literally hundreds of instruments, but it’s fun trying…

Do you have a favorite piece of orchestral repertoire to play and/or listen to? 
There are SO many – from Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” to Gershwin’s “An “American in Paris” and Mahler’s “2nd Symphony” to Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique.” There’s no way to pick one…

When you’re not performing, what do you do for fun? 
Outside of music I really enjoy playing and collecting strategy board games. Right now I have about 200 games and a few regular board game groups that provide a wonderful distraction when I need a break from performing/teaching/composing.

What’s one thing you hope people take away from a DSSO concert? 
The ability to experience this art form the way it was intended – LIVE!

Do you have any advice for those looking to pursue a career in music? 
A career in music is amazing, but being successful requires an enormous amount of hard work and dedication. Plan for a life of spending countless hours alone every day focused only on your weaknesses. Sounds glorious right?! In all seriousness, it’s all worth it!