Vicki Peterson Jenks

Percussion Ensemble Director Vicki Peterson Jenks, a native North Dakotan, received her musical training at Minot State University, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and Baylor University. In 1976, she founded the percussion program at the University of Texas-El Paso and ‘Repercussion’, a professional marimba band.

Upon her move to Madison, Wisconsin in 1980, she created and developed the Education Department at Ward-Brodt Music Company, one of the Midwest’s premiere retail music stores. Under her guidance and in just three years, student enrollment increased from 20 to 400.

As an active freelance percussionist, Vicki performed for 10 years with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and 22 years as Principal Timpanist with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. She currently serves as Master Adjudicator for WSMA.

From 1985-2005, Vicki owned and operated JENKS MUSIC STUDIO, Wisconsin’s largest private percussion studio. Studying her ‘Total Percussive Musicianship’ curriculum, her students perennially filled the percussion sections of Wisconsin Honors Bands and Orchestras, WYSO, and Carnegie Hall’s National Wind Ensemble. JENKS MUSIC STUDIO alumni currently hold top positions in orchestras and at universities around the globe.

One of Vicki’s great teaching passions is serving as conductor for the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras. This is her 38th year with WYSO. Under her direction, her ensembles have received national recognition from the Percussive Arts Society, Music Educators National Conference, the National Band Association, Wisconsin Music Educators Association, and the prestigious Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic. The WYSO Percussion Ensemble’s annual EXTRAVAGANZA! has raised funds and collected food for Second Harvest Foodbank, the American Red Cross and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

In 2004, Vicki was nominated for the ATHENA AWARD, sponsored by the Business Forum, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, and United Way of Dane County. Nominees help other women attain their full potential, demonstrate professional excellence, and provide philanthropic leadership and business savvy.

In 2005, Vicki was one of only three percussion educators in the world chosen to lecture at the Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention in Columbus, Ohio. In 2008, Vicki received the highest recognition presented to any percussion educator in the world—the ‘Lifetime Achievement in Education’ award and was inducted into the PAS Hall of Fame.

Vicki is a member of the Wild Rose Kiwanis Club. Her Kiwanis activities include Salvation Army Bell Ringing, Waushara County Food Pantry, and the Waushara County Christmas Project. She is an active church pianist and plays for a Lutheran and Catholic parish. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Wisconsin Foundation for School Music.

Since 2007, Vicki has served on the Tri-County Red Cross Disaster Action Team Team. DAT teams respond to all manner of disasters but primarily, residential FIRES. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin. Recently, she was named Community Volunteer Leader for the American Red Cross in Wisconsin—one of 9 such statewide leaders.

In the fall of 2011, she received the Clara Barton Honor Award, the most esteemed Red Cross award presented to any American citizen. HEROES Musicales, co-founded by Vicki and John, have raised thousands of dollars for both Local Disaster Relief and Service to the Armed Forces and are celebrating their ‘milestone’ 10th annual event on April 29, 2017. Also in the fall of 2011, she was named “Citizen of the Year” in Waushara County, Wisconsin.

As keyboard-vocalist, she performs at numerous nursing and retirement centers as well as the Wisconsin Veterans Home.  One Sundays, you’ll find Vicki playing piano at two local Lutheran churches near her home in Wild Rose.

James McKenzie, Assistant Director

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