Conservatory Spotlight

Ryan Jensen, Percussion Student

Ryan Jensen is a die-hard percussion enthusiast who has been studying with the Conservatory of Music for years! He studies privately with the Conservatory's percussion expert, Joe Porter, as well as being an intergral part of the We Hit It Percussion Ensmeble (W.H.I.P.). We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated and talented young musician as part of our Conservatory family! We asked him to share a bit about his musical background, hobbies, and musical highlights:

Can you tell us a bit about your music background?

I’ve been interested in drumming my whole life and I’ve never really touched any other instruments. What sparked my interest in drumming was when I was four years old and I saw a percussionist play in Hawaii. I then started to play taiko drums with the Nikkei Cultural Society in Lethbridge when I was seven. I joined band as a percussionist at Gilbert Paterson Middle School and have carried on since then. I was introduced to Joe Porter when he led a workshop for beginning percussionists and I started taking lessons with him that year. I’ve been with WHIP [We Hit it Percussion Ensemble] since Joe started it when I was in grade 7. I’ve been honestly very lucky to have had an interest in drumming at the same time as all these opportunities were growing in Lethbridge. Joe’s been a great teacher and a positive influence over the years and he’s a big part of why I continued drumming.

Do you have a favourite percussion instrument?

My favorite percussion instrument to play is definitely the marimba. I enjoy playing it because basically everyone plays the drum set, and it’s nice to be different and play mallet percussion. I’ve always liked the way the marimba sounds compared to other percussion instruments, and how you can play a diverse selection of music.

Do you have any other hobbies outside of music?

Other than music my main interest is in photography. I basically spent this whole summer scouting interesting spots to take pictures with my friends. I’ve been experimenting with digital and film with portrait photography. I enjoy how creative I can be with photography and how I can capture my friends’ personalities through the lens.

What have been some of your favourite highlights as a member of the We Hit It Percussion Ensemble (W.H.I.P.)?

My favourite memory in WHIP is our trip to Hawaii in Spring of 2019. That whole trip was super memorable but specifically my favourite memory would have to be when we were given a masterclass on Polynesian drumming from Lloyd Laukea Chandler. He was a really funny and interesting guy and was honestly a master at what he does. Another highlight of our trip was our day at the Polynesian Cultural Center. We got to spend the whole day exploring this massive park and we also got to attend a luau.

Ryan Jensen receieved first in the Percussion Solo (16 yrs and under) category at the 2019 Alberta Provnicial Music Festival . Congratulations Ryan, and thank you for sharing your talent with our community! Feeling inspired to start your own percussion journey? Check out our programs here!