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Vic Firth

Vic Firth
Vic Firth cropped.jpg
Vic Firth in 2006
Background information
Everett Joseph Firth
Born(1930-06-02)June 2, 1930
Winchester, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedJuly 26, 2015(2015-07-26) (aged 85)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Musician, business owner
InstrumentsPercussion instruments, cornet, trombone, clarinet, piano, drums, timpani
1946-2015
WebsiteVicFirth.com

Everett Joseph "Vic" Firth[1] (June 2, 1930 – July 26, 2015) was an American musician and the founder of Vic Firth Company (formerly Vic Firth, Inc.), a company that makes percussion sticks and mallets.[2]

Founded in 1963 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, the company bills itself as the world's largest manufacturer of drum sticks and mallets, which are made in Newport, Maine.[3] In 2010, the company merged with Avedis Zildjian Company; officials said at the time that the companies would continue to run independently.[4]

Vic Firth was born June 2, 1930, in Winchester, Massachusetts.[5] He was raised in Sanford, Maine by parents Everett E. and Rosemary Firth, where he graduated from Sanford High School.[6] Son of a successful trumpet player, he started learning the cornet at age four, turning later to percussion, trombone, clarinet, piano, and music arrangement. When he reached high school, he was a full-time percussionist, and created an 18-piece band at age 16. He played a variety of percussion instruments such as vibraphone, timpani and the drum set. He held a Bachelor's degree, as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Music from New England Conservatory in Boston.

Firth was the principal timpanist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1956 to 2002. He was the orchestra's youngest member when music director Charles Munch hired him as a percussionist in 1952.[7]

Firth died at the age of 85 on July 26, 2015, at his home in Boston, Massachusetts.[8]

Vic Firth Company

Vic Firth Company
Private
IndustryManufacturer of percussion sticks and mallets, salt and pepper mills, and rolling pins
Founded1963; 55 years ago (1963)
Number of locations
2
Boston, Massachusetts (headquarters)
Newport, Maine (manufacturing)
Key people
Vic Firth, Founder
WebsiteVicFirth.com

The company began when Firth, who had been performing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 12 years, was asked to perform pieces which he felt required a higher-quality drumstick than those that were currently being manufactured. Firth decided to design a set of his own sticks.[2]

Firth hand-whittled the first sticks himself from bulkier sticks and sent these prototypes to a wood turner in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The two prototypes that he sent would become the SD1 and SD2, the first two models of sticks manufactured by Vic Firth, Inc. Firth said, "It came out of necessity, not of imagination or my ability to start a company." Although the sticks were initially intended for Firth's personal use, they gained popularity among his students and were eventually carried by retailers.

As of 2012, the company offered about 300 products, and made 12 million sticks a year.[2] The company also produced a line of pepper mills, salt grinders, and rolling pins sold under the Vic Firth Gourmet brand for many years until those interests were sold to Maine Wood Concepts of New Vineyard, Maine in 2012 and re-branded under the name Fletchers' Mill.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ Fox, Margalit (July 28, 2015). "Vic Firth, Who Gave Drummers Their Sticks, Dies at 85". Retrieved 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
  2. ^ a b c "The History and Development of Vic Firth Inc". Vic Firth. Archived from the original on February 13, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  3. ^ "Vic Firth". Vic Firth. January 20, 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  4. ^ "Vic Firth Company and Avedis Zildjian Company Announce Merger". VicFirth.com. Archived from the original on December 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  5. ^ "Vic Firth Company Founder: Vic Firth". Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ "SHS Hall of Fame: Vic Firth". Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ "Vic Firth, 85; was celebrated BSO timpanist and drumstick maker". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ "Vic Firth, noted BSO timpanist, drumstick maker, dies at 85". Boston Globe. July 28, 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  9. ^ "Vic Firth Gourmet". Vic Firth Gourmet. Retrieved 2012.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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