the ginterview!

behold, jason!

the basics
name: jason f. ginter
birthday: 01.31.1981
hometown: elyria, oh
occupation: principal timpanist, san diego symphony and president and founder of jg percussion

my name is yeh: welcome!! so i understand that you have a theory on salads on the west coast. they're different from midwest salads, aren't they?
jason ginter: that's right. see, in the midwest, you can make a salad without putting any vegetables in it. you just need mayonnaise. or you can use cool whip, marshmallows, and those little mandarin oranges you get in the can. nothing fresh at all. but if you want to make a california salad, you have to use lettuce and avocado. (that's the way to make anything california- just add avocado).
m: what would your last meal on earth be?
j: a little place in san diego called la fachada mexican restaurant. it's a restaurant and a truck, but i've never eaten at the restaurant, only the truck. 

m: favorite composer? favorite piece?
j: hmmm... sibelius? his second symphony is incredible. i've also been listening to a lot of nielsen. nielsen 4. i also love the beethoven and brahms symphonies. 
m: so you've recently won your job with the san diego symphony. what was your reaction when you were announced as the winner? and what was the first thing that you did?
j: my reaction was... i went into the bathroom and had to sit down because i felt sick. and then i called my mother and she cried on the phone. 
m: and the first drink you had?
j: after the audition, i went back to the hotel and slept for four hours. i woke up, had a steak and a gin and tonic, and then went back to sleep. 
m: many of my friends and i are beginning to take orchestra auditions. can you explain a bit about your audition preparation process?
j: sure. i start three to six months before the audition. for me it was important to find out what was a sustainable amount of practice because when i was younger, i would have days where i practiced twelve hours... and then the next day i would play three, and the next six. it was never consistent. in grad school, i figured out that i could play eight hours a day, seven days a week. so that's what i did to prepare for san diego- eight hours a day for nine months. i took one day off for christmas.
m: wow. what kept you going through all of that?
j: being broke helps.

m: do you have any hobbies?
j: yeah, i have my own business that makes drum sticks and timpani mallets (jg percussion). i also enjoy surfing and driving my vespa around town... 2009 vespa gt 200, baby. 

jason gave me a tour of the jg factory...

m: what was (my former percussion teacher) sarah barnes like in college?
j: she was the girl that everybody wanted to date.

m: words of wisdom for students taking auditions?
j: play the music, not just the drums. if you look at a panel, there are a lot more musicians than just percussionists- there are bassoonists, violinists, trumpet players... so when you play the music and you think about the context in to which we fit, then the music you play makes more sense to all of those other musicians. 
m: why did you win san diego?
j: i was flexible.
m: you do yoga?
j: just pilates.... but... in an audition, it's not about playing things perfect the first time, it's about being able to adjust. you play it well the first time, but if they ask you to play something differently, you do it. orchestra is all about adjusting to what's going on around you.

m: any last words? maximum of ten.
j: molly yeh is my hero. i think she is cool.
(i count the words on my fingers)
m: wow. good for you!

jason and me about to go surfing! (hello, mum!)

friend ryan and me outside the surf shop at ocean beach