Deborah Parsons is by all definitions a Super-Vet.
As a four year veteran member of INFINITY, Deborah has filled most of the positions and roles found within the front ensemble, including playing synth in 2008 and 2009, vibraphone in 2011, and in 2012, became a member of the marimba section and also one of two section leaders of the front ensemble. By the end of this past season Deborah was awarded Most Outstanding Member - something at INFINITY everyone already knew about her for years before due to her great work ethic, positive attitude, and consistent drive to be great.
For 2013, Deborah returns to the front ensemble where she left off last season - being awesome.
How many years have you been with INFINITY and what made you audition for the ensemble initially?
I have been with INFINITY for four years - '08, '09, '11, '12. Lee Hansen originally encouraged me to come out to the auditions in 2008 when he was the battery tech at my high school. I went as a clinic attendee for the bass line, but ended up being offered a spot playing synth in the front ensemble.
What keeps you coming back year after year to INFINITY?
The reason I come back to INFINITY year after year is because of the family. Yes, I love performing, and I love learning music, but I love being around my INFINI-Fam more than anything. It's a close bond that I've never experienced anywhere else, and something I could never replace.
In what way has INFINITY helped you grow - in and out of the drumming world?
Infinity Percussion has had a huge influence on my life. I don't believe that I would be at the point I am in life without my involvement with this group. I have definitely learned and polished technical skills through playing with INFINITY, but aside from that aspect, I have learned to be a good member of an ensemble or team, and have started learning how to be a good leader. I find myself using skills I've learned with INFINITY in my teaching career, at work, and any time I'm with a large group of people. It always comes back to, "I remember at INFINITY when.."
What do you remember most about your first season with INFINITY, and how has the organization grown?
When I think back to my first season with INFINITY in 2008, it's almost like thinking back to being in a completely different ensemble. I remember that it felt like the ensemble was just trying to get our footing in the WGI world, and we were all figuring everything out together. I remember going without uniforms for an unknown amount of time, but I also remember that the trip to Dayton that year was the most exciting thing I'd ever done at the age of 16. Since then, we've figured out quite a few things, and I believe we have our footing within WGI. We know what to do for the most part, and we're always looking and finding newer and more efficient ways to do it right.
What is your favorite thing about being a member of INFINITY?
My favorite thing is definitely the friendships I've made. Like I stated in the earlier, I love playing, and performing is one of my favorite activities, but my favorite thing specific to INFINITY is the group of people I get to do those things with.
As a long time member of the front ensemble, what suggestions do you have for the new members auditioning this September for INFINITY 2013?
My suggestions for anyone hoping to be a part of our front ensemble would be to come prepared, and to come with an open mind. It's important to be prepared to cut down on nerves, and to be comfortable playing in the ensemble. Having an open mind is the most important part, I think, to allow yourself to make new friends and learn new ways of approaching your instrument. A big part of being a member with us is fitting into our family. We'll welcome you with open arms, as long as you're willing to give back. We have certainly raised the bar for the front ensemble over the few past seasons, and I'm excited to see the new talent and personalities that this season will bring.