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Hitchins, Martha

Timpanist from Grand Junction, Colorado, who started out on piano when she was eight years old but gravitated to timpani in junior high school.  She played in the high school orchestra and took studies with the Utah Symphony Orchestra’s timpanist, Robert Lentz.  In 1974, she enrolled in the Curtis Institute and graduated four years later with a degree in timpani and percussion.

Shortly thereafter, she became Principal Timpanist for the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, a position she held for nine years.  In 1980, she became a member of the Opera Company of Philadelphia orchestra, and this led to her being asked to perform with the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.  (She appears on their 1987 Christmas album, Gloria!  Gloria!.)  This became a semi-regular gig until 1988, when she joined the group full-time and became their Principal Timpanist and ensembles coordinator.

In 2004, she had to come out of the game with an injury and missed two weeks’ worth of concerts with tendonitis.  She was in the music department for the straight-to-video cartoon, Tom and Jerry:  A Nutcracker Tale, in 2007.  During the 2008-2009 season, she took a leave of absence, but was back on board for 2010-2011.  She also worked as a Ensembles Co-Ordinator for 25 years from 1988 to 2013.

Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia recordings
Adeste Fidelis (Frederick Oakeley/John Francis Wade)
RCA 6559-2-RC (Gloria!  Gloria!)
Soprano – Benita Valente
The Philadelphia Singers
Conductor – Michael Korn

Here’s the final part of the Tom and Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale which Martha performs on…


  9. Liner notes:  Gloria!  Gloria!