Hover over image, or read here

A shattered-mirror insight into the bizarre world of hitting things with sticks.

                 

—NEIL PEART

“A shattered-mirror insight into the bizarre world of hitting things with sticks.

NEIL PEART

“Patti Niemi’s oft-hilarious memoir shatters images of percussionists as fearless aggressors who drive and pound their way through life. Instead, it presents the image of an emerging artist pounded by fear and insecurity. As she tells her tale with disarming candor, Niemi opens the door on the mental and artistic challenges facing all aspiring classical musicians in an era of shrinking avenues for professional practice. After she takes us through the wringer, as it were, she enables us to breathe a huge sigh of relief, if not make a joyful racket, as she lands her gig with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Brava!”

— Jason Victor Serinus, OPERA NEWS,

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE

“By turns reflective and dramatic, poignant and hilarious, Sticking It Out offers an irresistible portrait of the artist as a young percussionist. In deft and swiftly drawn narrative strokes, Patti Niemi charts the formation of a career in music — the endless hours in the practice room, the stomach-churning anxiety of auditions, the blend of competitiveness and camaraderie that shapes relations among up-and-coming musicians — and she does it with wit and personality to burn. She’s as adept at writing as she is at standing in a corner and banging on things.”

—Joshua Kosman, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC

“As a young musician, Patti Niemi decided to become a percussionist, entering what is possibly the most male-dominated section of the orchestra world. In her revealing memoir, Niemi — a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 1992 — details her journey from early training to professional achievement. It’s an eye-opening tale of demanding teachers, grueling practice schedules, severe performance anxiety and bias against “girl drummers” — a funny, poignant first-person account of the fierce commitment it takes to succeed in classical music.

May 9, 2016  "As a young musician, Patti Niemi decided to become a percussionist, entering what is possibly the most male-dominated section of the orchestra world. In her revealing memoir, Niemi — a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 1992 — details her journey from early training to professional achievement. It’s an eye-opening tale of demanding teachers, grueling practice schedules, severe performance anxiety and bias against “girl drummers” — a funny, poignant first-person account of the fierce commitment it takes to succeed in classical music."

NEIL PEART

“A shattered-mirror insight into the bizarre world of hitting things with sticks.”

SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOICE

“Patti Niemi’s oft-hilarious memoir shatters images of percussionists as fearless aggressors who drive and pound their way through life. Instead, it presents the image of an emerging artist pounded by fear and insecurity. As she tells her tale with disarming candor, Niemi opens the door on the mental and artistic challenges facing all aspiring classical musicians in an era of shrinking avenues for professional practice. After she takes us through the wringer, as it were, she enables us to breathe a huge sigh of relief, if not make a joyful racket, as she lands her gig with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Brava!”

— Jason Victor Serinus, journalist, Opera News, San Francisco Classical Voice

SAN JOSE

MERCURY NEWS

"As a young musician, Patti Niemi decided to become a percussionist, entering what is possibly the most male-dominated section of the orchestra world. In her revealing memoir, Niemi — a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 1992 — details her journey from early training to professional achievement. It’s an eye-opening tale of demanding teachers, grueling practice schedules, severe performance anxiety and bias against “girl drummers” — a funny, poignant first-person account of the fierce commitment it takes to succeed in classical music."