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Title page from Heather McPherson’s “I'm With the Band”   (© Juko Nakagawa)

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Esopus 9 (Fall 2007)
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I’m With the Band

By Heather McPherson

“I imagined myself there, behind a drum, beside the other drummers, knowing when to raise my sticks and when to lower them, understanding the rhythm, knowing the music and feeling myself fit into it. I closed my eyes to stave back the welling tears and thought, "That’s going to be me.”—Heather McPherson

Heather McPherson shares the challenges and rewards she encountered on her torturous journey from small-town schoolgirl fan to full-fledged member of a highly regarded New York City taiko drum ensemble.

Heather McPherson (previously Larson) has published her nonfiction essays in publications such as T: The New York Times Style Magazine and Time Out: New York, and she has edited manuscripts for Rolling Stone and Details. She holds an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from University of Minnesota and is currently a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.