Étienne Gendron first studied classical percussion at Cégep de Ste-Foy with René Joly and René Roulx. Étienne completed a Bachelor’s degree in percussion performance at Université Laval in Québec City studying with Serge Laflamme and François Aubin. At the same time, he studied jazz ensemble (drum set) with Bruno Drolet and Michel Donato. Two years in a row, he won « Le concours du disque des étudiantes et des étudiants de l’Université Laval ». An active freelancer in Québec, he played with l’Orchestre Edwin Bélanger, l’Ensemble vent et percussions de Québec and l’Orchestre Symphonique de Québec. More recently, he has studied with Rick Gratton and Jean-Norman Iadeluca.

In Toronto from 2002 to 2012, he was busy freelancing throughout Ontario with the Windsor Symphony, Toronto Philharmonia, Hamilton Philharmonic/Opera, Oshawa Durham Symphony, Ontario Philharmonic, Thunder Bay Symphony, Brantford Symphony, Tafelmusik, Opera York, Canadian Sinfonietta, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir Orchestra, Talisker Players and others. He also performed with brass bands in and around the city including Weston Silver Band, Hannaford Street Silver Band and Intrada Brass. He has recorded live orchestral performances for CBC Radio and can also be heard on Intrada Brass’ CDs “That Holiday Feeling” and “The Stardust Ballroom”. In 2009, he was the vibraphonist for Diana Krall’s southern Ontario tour of “Quiet Nights”.

More recently, he’s been playing with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. He is NSO’s Assistant Principal Percussionist since 2017. He has also been involved with Opera on the Avalon, Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival, NewFound Music Festival, Atlantic Light Theatre, the Scruncheons Percussion Ensemble, Jazz East Big Band and Spirit of Newfoundland.

He has been teaching Percussion Techniques classes at MUN since the fall of 2019.

Fun Facts About Étienne

When did you join the NSO?


Who inspired you to learn how to play?

My grandfather, my father and my brother.

What’s your favourite piece of classical/orchestral music?

Turangalîla-Symphonie by Olivier Messiaen

If you could pick one artist to collaborate with, who would it be?

Jacob Collier

What other non-musical creative outlets do you have?

Astronomy, cooking, and reading.