Focus On Faculty

Timothy Adams

Where did you earn degrees and what are your current responsibilities at UGA?

I received my bachelor's and master's degrees in performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music in Ohio. I am currently the Heyward Professor of Music and Chair of Percussion at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, part of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

When did you come to UGA and what brought you here?

I came to UGA in the fall of 2010. I was previously the principal timpanist of the Pittsburgh Symphony and professor of music and chair of percussion at Carnegie Mellon University.

What are your favorite courses and why?

My favorite courses are the 19 private lessons that I teach each week. Having the opportunity to share a 100-year-old tradition of percussion, playing with the percussionists at UGA, is an honor for me.

What interests you about your field?

What interests me most about my field is that it is constantly changing in a way that challenges me now just as much as it did when I was a young musician.

What are some highlights of your career at UGA?

The highlights of my career at UGA are when our students get employed after graduation. They have found careers as professors of music, percussion teachers, band directors in middle and high schools across Georgia, in symphonies across the nation and in music therapy.

How does your research or scholarship inspire your teaching, and vice versa?

My 31-year playing career, personal practice and current solo percussion work informs my teaching. The concert stage is my research platform. What I learn on stage in each performance is the information I give the students each week.

What do you hope students gain from their classroom experience with you?

I hope the students gain the ability to not be afraid to take chances. This is a quality that can push the arts in a direction that can actually change our society. We certainly need it.

Describe your ideal student.

My ideal student has discipline, is industrious, creative and is not afraid to chart their own path in life.

Favorite place to be/thing to do on campus is…

My favorite place to be on campus is Edge Hall in the School of Music and the Performing Arts Center.

Beyond the UGA campus, I like to…

Spend time with my wife and our three dogs.

Community/civic involvement includes….

I serve of the advisory board of WUGA, the university’s affiliate of National Public Radio.

Favorite book/movie (and why)?

My favorite book is “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” because he had the courage to change. My favorite movie is “Elevator to the Gallows” because Miles Davis wrote the soundtrack.

Proudest moment at UGA?

My proudest moment at UGA was when my wife was brought on as my colleague in the percussion department in 2013. She was previously teaching at the University of Arizona and is still principal timpanist of the Tucson Symphony. 

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

It is great to be back in Georgia. I grew up in Covington and I never thought music would bring me back home to teach.
Originally published Nov. 8, 2015
Published Monday,