In memoriam: Everett 'Vic' Firth
Sad news from the United States: Everett 'Vic' Firth, founder of the renowned Vic Firth brand of drumsticks, has passed away at age 85. This was announced on the Vic Firth Company's web site on July 27th, 2015. Everett Firth was a pioneer in the world of drumsticks and mallets, and ever since the 1960s he's been setting the bar for the companies that followed.
Everett 'Vic' Firth 1930 - 2015
Everett 'Vic' Firth was born in 1930, in Winchester, Massachusetts, in the United States of America. His father was a successful trumpet player, and as such, a young, 4-year-old Vic started his musical carrier playing the cornet. In the years that followed, he learned to play various instruments, and he started various bands and ensembles that he subsequently toured with. He graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music, but even before he had his Bachelor's degree, he was hired as percussionist in the renowned Boston Symphony Orchestra, becoming the youngest member in the orchestra's history. He ended up playing for that orchestra for over 50 years. Everett Vic Firth was responsible for creating a number of production processes that are still used to this day. Weight and pitch-matching drumsticks is something he introduced. And who could forget the eco-friendly cardboard sleeve that is used to keep a pair of sticks together - another one of Vic's ideas. On that sleeve was printed the company slogan that many drummers around the world will know: "Vic Firth - The Perfect Pair".
Starting the Vic Firth Company
As a consummate perfectionist, Vic wasn't happy with the quality of the drumsticks that were available, so in the early 1960s he decided, out of necessity, to make them himself. The first two models, the SD1 and SD2, he made entirely by hand, and they're still in production today. When he started out, he simply made sticks for his own personal use, but fellow musicians soon started noticing their superior quality, and began to request a pair for themselves. The rest, as they say, is history: Vic Firth Company products soon became highly popular and now, some 52 years later, the company is still at the forefront in the world of drumsticks, brushes and mallets. Of course, it goes without saying that the entire drumming community is affected by the loss of Everett Firth. Many well-known drummers, percussionists and manufacturers are already flooding the internet with their own fond memories and their messages of support for his loved ones and colleagues. His vision and the passion that he had for his company will be severely missed.