I’m With the Band


“I imagined myself there, behind a drum, beside the other drummers, knowing when to raise my sticks and when to lower them, understanding the rhythm, knowing the music and feeling myself fit into it. I closed my eyes to stave back the welling tears and thought, "That’s going to be me.”—Heather McPherson

Heather McPherson shares the challenges and rewards she encountered on her torturous journey from small-town schoolgirl fan to full-fledged member of a highly regarded New York City taiko drum ensemble.

Heather McPherson is a Senior Lecturer in English at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. She has published nonfiction essays in Time Out: New York and T: The New York Times Style Magazine and edited manuscripts for Rolling Stone and Details. She received an M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from the University of Minnesota.