TimpaniAndrew Watkins

Assistant Principal

A native of Champaign, IL, San Diego Symphony Orchestra percussionist and Assistant Principal Timpani Andrew Watkins began his studies at the age of 12. He completed his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with William Moersch and Ricardo Flores, and he went on to receive his Master of Music degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts under the tutelage of Ed Harrison and Vadim Karpinos. He furthered his post-graduate education at the New England Conservatory with Will Hudgins and later at Lynn University with Ted Atkatz.

During his studies, Mr. Watkins was a participant at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2007 and the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in 2009. Previous to San Diego, his professional appearances include the Chicago Symphony, Chicago Lyric Opera, Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra and New World Symphony. Mr. Watkins joined the San Diego Symphony Orchestra in February of 2010 and has since performed with the orchestra and other local ensembles such as Art of Élan and Luscious Noise. 


Q: How did you choose your instrument? 

A: I actually started on saxophone in 5th grade, but decided it wasn’t for me. I picked up drumset a couple of years later because my friends and I wanted to start a rock band. Eventually, my teacher convinced me to join my school's band, where I learned all about classical percussion. 

Q: What are some favorite composers and/or musical periods? 

A: Bartok, Mahler, Shostakovich. 

Q: What good book have you read most recently? 

A: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Q: What do you love most about San Diego (other than the weather)? 

A: There is awesome Mexican food everywhere I look. 

Q: What is your choice for dining in San Diego? 

A: Saguaro's, Blue Water, The Regal Beagle 

Q: The San Diego Symphony Orchestra is essential to San Diego because... 

A: To me, music conveys emotions better than any other human endeavor. Rather than using words or visuals, music seems to convey how these emotions actually feel instead of just descriptions of them. The great composers of orchestral music used this aspect of music to represent their ideas in ways that popular music can never come close to. The San Diego Symphony Orchestra keeps this art form alive and well for the citizens of this great city.