A native of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Emily Ickes Jackson received her Bachelor’s degree in percussion performance from Western Michigan University in 2007, studying under professor Judy Moonert and timpanist Mark Guthrie. She went on to complete her Master’s degree at Ithaca College in 2009, studying with professor Gordon Stout.
While at Ithaca College, Emily was a member of the IC Percussion Ensemble, Steel Band, and Ragtime Marimba Band. In addition to being principal timpanist simultaneously in both the IC Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, Emily had the privilege of performing as soloist in Akira Nishimura’s Concerto for Timpani and Percussion Ensemble with the IC Percussion Ensemble. Emily was also honored be part of a commemorative concert celebrating composer Elliott Carter’s 100th birthday, where she performed selections from his landmark collection Eight Pieces for Four Timpani.
Beginning in 2003, Emily played timpani and percussion in both the Southwest Michigan and Battle Creek Symphony Orchestras. In 2008, she began playing percussion for the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, and became the orchestra’s principal timpanist in 2012. She is also a frequent performer with several other local groups, including the Ithaca New Music Collective, Music’s Recreation, the Ithaca Community Chorus, the Colgate University Orchestra, and the GrassRoots Festival Chamber Orchestra.
Emily is also an active music instructor and private teacher throughout the Southern Tier region. She is a part-time instructor at Ithaca College in the department of Music Theory, History, and Composition, where she teaches music theory and aural skills classes. Emily also maintains private studios in both Ithaca and Corning, where she teaches piano and percussion out of her personal studio as well as 171 Cedar Arts Center.