Meet Russell Fisher - NYU Graduate, Panist & Percussionist - UpClose!

In an exclusive interview with When Steel Talks, recent NYU (New York University) graduate Russell Fisher speaks on his relationship with the steelpan instrument and how it has impacted his music and college life experience

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Russell Fisher has just graduated from the prestigious New York University (NYU) Music and Performing Arts Professions percussion studies program. And now he is on his way to continue his career and graduate studies at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University.

A little more than four years ago the steelpan instrument and Russell crossed paths in a real and tangible way. Mostly because of NYU Percussion Program’s mandatory steelpan performance requirement. From that point as a member of NYU Steel, a special love, exuberance and passion for the instrument and art form developed and is on full display whenever he is playing the instrument or talking about something pan-related.

Listen to Russell Fisher in his own words UpClose!

Russell Fisher
Russell Fisher

In this WST (When Steel Talks) interview Russell describes his Panorama experience as surreal. New York Panorama is the most fun he has had playing music... On learning music by rote?  “It just changes the experience a little bit, and I think it’s for the better; I think everyone should definitely go through that, because you learn music as music, not as, kind of - this ‘linear’ thing, but it’s this wholesome... and then it gets to more of the interactions, and the teaching and the learning from each other and the community that I was talking about before. I think it’s really important.”  Russell fully ‘gets’ the intangible benefits of community teaching and musician/human interaction to learn.

Russell Fisher says steelpan contributed greatly to and was a huge part in his education. “....The main point I wanted to drive home...  - the idea of community, and the warmth that I felt when I went to the panyard, and how it was ‘no man left behind’ kind of thing -- we’re in it all together....You’re responsible for picking up your band mates. And I really took that to heart.....I think that was a huge, huge part of my education, just trying to bring that here (NYU), and to every musical experience I had.  And I completely owe it to the panyard.”

As a member of NYU Steel, Russell has also had the opportunity to arrange pieces for the band. He was pleased to be able to include Pan as one of several instruments he showcased for his February 2016 audition for the Yale School of Music. And naturally, for his senior recital preceding his NYU graduation, Russell again embraced pan in two of his six performance pieces: Two Leads by Kendall Williams, and Andy Akiho’s I falleN TwO.

Look for great moments in Pan from Russell Fisher in the future.

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