Meet our Staff

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Photo by John Berry

Todd Zimberg
Director, Founder
Todd Zimberg has been playing drums professionally and teaching in the Northwest since the early 1980’s. He has performed locally and toured with blues, jazz, rock and rhythm and blues artists. He held a timpani chair for 25 seasons with Federal Way Symphony and continues to artistically direct their big band program.

Zimberg founded Drum Camp in 1997 to meet the needs of his students in the summer, offering an intensive immersion into the world of percussion and a week to focus on the shared passion for music.

Zimberg earned a masters degree in percussion from the University of Washington in 1998.  He currently teaches music courses at Highline College, maintains a roster of private students and continues to perform regularly.


Jesse Whitford
Lead Instructor
Jesse Whitford is a professional musician and private instructor in the Greater Seattle area. He grew up on Vashon Island and through his dedication to music has gone from being a former drum camper to the assistant director of the camp.
While attending Vashon High School, Jesse was the State Champion multiple percussion soloist in 2004. He went on to study percussion at WWU graduating in 2009 with a Bachelors of Music degree.

Jesse currently provides individual instruction both privately and at the Hamlin Robinson School in Seattle. He has also been the percussion instructor for the Newport High School marching band since 2011. As a performer he was a lead member of both the Sounders “Soundwave” marching band, and the Seahawks “Blue Thunder” Drum Line (including both recent Superbowl seasons!). In addition, he regularly performs as a pit musician for musicals/stage shows throughout the Puget Sound area.

Photo by Gary Sexton

Chloë Zimberg
Program Assistant & Drum Camp Counselor
After growing up on Vashon Island, Chloë Zimberg moved to in San Francisco in 2012. Since then, she has received her BA from the University of San Francisco’s Performing Arts and Social Justice Dance Program with a double minor in English and Politics, and has been challenged to redefine and deepen her lifelong relationship to movement, to find and use her voice, and to ask how artistry addresses both the politics and poetics of life. Chloë currently works as the Coordinator for FACT/SF, at ODC Dance Commons, and as Co-Director of Chlo & Co Dance.

Chloë serves as the administrative support for Vashon Percussion. She has traveled to both Brazil and Ghana with collections of students and continues to attend Drum Camp each summer, working as both Camp Counselor and Program Assistant.

Yaw-at-Folklife-370Yaw Amponsah
Yaw Amponsah is a master percussionist from Ghana. Coming from a musical family from West Africa he is at home in the world of rhythm. A versatile player, Yaw can play many styles of music from Ghana including Highlife, Agbadja, Kpanlogo and more. His specialty is the music of the multi-part percussion ensembles of the Ashanti people. These sets of drums and corresponding rhythms can be made up of eight or more independent percussion parts. He is the leader of Anokye Agofomma and a member of Manghis Khan quartet.

IMG_1719Chris Monroe
Guest Instructor, 2018
Chris Monroe has been a free lance percussionist in the Seattle area since 1985.  He has played with a wide variety of artists, from Don Rickles to the Bolshoi Ballet and everyone in between.  Specializing in musical Theater he has worked extensively at the 5th avenue theater as well as the Village Theater, ACT, Paramount, Intiman and Seattle Rep.  Career highlights include touring Canada and the US with the Opera Porgy and Bess,  Do Jump Theater in NYC, touring with productions of Cabaret and Guys and Dolls and premiering the role of Big Lou in the Wedding Singer!  Chris holds a BA and BM in music performance from the University of Washington.

Emmy Crop Emmy Ulmer
Guest Instructor, 2017
Emmy Ulmer has been a percussion teacher and coach in the Greater Seattle area for over 20 years, primarily working with students in the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras and various schools. She has played timpani and percussion with numerous orchestras from Skagit Valley to Tacoma, and even one year in Vienna, Austria. Emmy is a graduate of the UW School of Music, and of Roosevelt High School, where currently she is the Principal Percussionist/Timpanist of the Seattle Collaborative Orchestra, a group made up of members of the Seattle Symphony, community professionals, and college and high school students. For the past 12 years she has also operated the English Captions for Seattle Opera.