Timpani & Percussion

David Herbert

Principal Timpani, Marcia & John Goldman Chair

SFS member since: 1994

Hometown:  Columbia, MO

Music schools you attended: Saint Louis Conservatory, Juilliard School

Began playing music: At age 4       

Musical inspirations: My parents

If I were not a professional musician, I might be a: Airline pilot, veterinarian, ichthyologist

Favorite composers: Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Schubert

Favorite works featuring my instrument: Beethoven, Symphony No. 9; Nielsen, Symphony No. 4; Brahms, Symphony No. 1; Strauss, Burleske

When I’m not working, I enjoy: Exercise, biking, jogging, working out, cooking, spending time with family

On my CD player/iPod: Turbo Weekend, Ray Charles, Ink Spots, Wanda Jackson
Favorite things to do in the Bay Area: Bike riding, exploring my neighborhood (Mission District)

Plus: I am currently writing a book about the timpani parts in the Mahler symphonies. I’m premiering a solo piece commissioned by MTT and composed by Alex Orfaly with the New World Symphony in Miami.


James Lee Wyatt, III

James Lee Wyatt III joined the San Francisco Symphony in 2001 after serving as principal percussion of the Honolulu Symphony. A native of Princeton, KY, he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and his master’s degree from Temple University. Mr. Wyatt has performed with the Santa Fe Opera, National Repertory Orchestra, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and the Ojai Festival,  Tanglewood Music Center, and the US and Italian Spoleto festivals. 

(May 2018)

Raymond Froehlich

Raymond Froehlich

Raymond Froehlich joined the San Francisco Symphony as a percussionist in 1991. A graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he was previously a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and a timpanist with the Berkeley Symphony. Mr. Froehlich has often been featured with the SFS in works by twentieth-century and contemporary composers. He performs with several jazz ensembles in the Bay Area, as well as a rock trio and Ultra World X-tet, which combines Chinese instruments—the guzheng and pipa—with saxophone, electric guitar, and bass.

(May 2018)

Tom Hemphill


Tom Hemphill joined the San Francisco Symphony’s percussion section in 1974. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, he was a member of the Toledo Symphony before joining the SFS, and he has also retained a strong interest in jazz. Mr. Hemphill has been featured with the Orchestra in music including Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Steve Reich’s Three Movements, George Antheil’s Ballet mécanique, Russell Peck’s Liftoff!, Michael Tilson Thomas’s Island Music, and several works by Lou Harrison. He was an organizer of the San Francisco Percussion Ensemble and has served as a coach of the SFS Youth Orchestra. 

(May 2018)

Victor Avdienko