Student Profiles

We have some amazing percussion students here at WP, and this page is a place where you can get to know them a little better.

Meet Shanna Echeverry, a Music Education Major:

William Paterson University Percussion

What is it about percussion that excites you?
Being a percussionist is like being a multi instrumentalist, there isn’t just one percussion instrument that you stick with, you play a little bit of everything. My calling found me when I was between four instruments and couldn’t pick just one so I decided to play Percussion.
When did you start in percussion and what are some of your favorite early experiences?
My first experience in percussion was in 8th grade when I attended a marching band open house at my high school and they thought I was a good fit for the pit and so I stuck with it. I started during 2015 and some of my favorite experiences were all the competitions and the memories I made playing with my friends throug the 5 years of marching band at Pequannock. These were my favorite moments in high school and I’m thankful to be able to teach within the program I came from. I also loved being a part of Area and Region Band in my junior and senior years as we played Mambo from West Side Story, the French Horns did horn flips, percussion danced on stage and everyone and the audience had a blast!
What is a typical day like for you at WP?
A typical day at WPU includes a Starbucks run and a full 8-10 hour day of classes, work and music making! I love sitting with friends in Hunziker and hanging out in the percussion studio listening to others work on their pieces while also practice my own. I never have the same schedule two days in a row and I love posting about my crazy schedules, some days I find myself visiting 3 schools within a single day. If you want to follow along my music journey follow me on instagram @Shanna.hits.things
Do you have a favorite percussion instrument? If so, why do you gravitate towards that instrument?
I gravitate towards the Vibraphone because I started with it in marching band. I played it again for United Percussion World in 2019 where I found myself in front of thousands of people at finals. I love the way the sustain peddle gives the instrument a different color and texture and it can help resemble the qualities of a wind or string instrument with sustained notes that a marimba or snare drum can’t do as effectively.
What do you hope to be doing in 5 years from now with your career?
In 5 years I can see myself teaching at a middle or high school band with a secret passion for conducting. I want to further my education in conducting and eventually conduct some community bands and work my way up from there. I also want to work on my own projects at home making new compositions for contemporary percussion groups and possibly adding some tasteful new music influences into the mix.
Do you have any advice for high school students who are looking to audition at WP?
High school students looking to audition at WP should connect with current WP students and spend a day shadowing a student in their preferred major to get to know what it’s like to be a music student. I think being able to talk to my upperclassmen before joining the percussion studios at WPU set me up with great connections and a good small group of friends to help you get around campus your first week!