“When you’re nine years old and sitting at a Disney show on Broadway, you might be totally caught up in the magic of the story. But not me. I loved the story of The Lion King, but at that moment in 1998, for me the magic was to the right and left of the stage, where the percussionists—drumming their hearts out—had my full attention.”
That first spark of musical inspiration at The New Amsterdam Theater led Spencer Inch to cultivate a multifarious career as a drummer and percussionist.
Spencer Inch was raised in Wilton, CT, a New York City suburb with an excellent school music program and committed teachers. Though his family was not historically a musical one, his parents were lovers of music and the arts and supported him and his brother Casey, a painter, in their creative journeys from the start. Spencer picked up his first pair of sticks on his sixth birthday when his parents bought a used drum kit from the family’s piano teacher.
Spencer began his music education with jazz drummer John Cutrone for whom two skills were paramount: reading and versatility of style. Spencer continued with John through high school, where his musical interests expanded considerably. In addition to playing for many of the school’s ensembles, he fostered a particular love for playing in pit orchestra. Sitting in the pit for his high school’s production of Anything Goes and recalling his experience at The Lion King, the spark was officially lit.
“Amongst everything I was studying privately and in school, two drum-heavy shows truly piqued my interest in music. The first was The Lion King, and the second was Blue Man Group, a monumental exercise in music, culture, and artistic expression. My best friend and fellow drummer and I were so inspired by the show that we set out to build our own PVC pipe instruments that we aptly named ‘pipe-o-phones.’” (And yes…they still exist.)
“To play on Broadway has been a dream of mine since childhood and was a driving factor for me in my studies. I decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in concert percussion to help me realize that dream.”
At Penn State (2006-2010), Spencer sought out every performance opportunity he could find. He played in wind ensembles, orchestras, percussion ensembles, chamber groups, big band, and even sang with the storied Penn State Glee Club. In his senior year, he was awarded the School of Music’s prestigious Creative Achievement award and received an honorable mention in the Yamaha Young Performing Artist competition. He also had the honor of performing in Carnegie Hall as the principal percussionist of Penn State Philharmonic Orchestra. Throughout his time there he also worked with Broadway’s own Dan Riddle playing in numerous shows for the School of Theatre.
Studying concert percussion in the pursuit of his bachelor’s degree left Spencer feeling a bit behind on the “kit,” and so, after finishing his undergraduate studies, Spencer attended the University of Miami’s prestigious Frost School of Music. There he studied studio music and jazz and had the great pleasure of sharing the stage with world-class artists such as the New York Voices and vocalist Kate Reid. He completed his Master’s Degree in Jazz Drum Set Performance in 2012, helping him to bring balance to his force.
After finishing his graduate work in Miami, Spencer toured internationally with Norwegian Cruise Line, learning the ins and outs of commercial music, before moving back to the New York area (Brooklyn, to be precise) to continue his budding career as an independent drummer, percussionist, and educator. His wide array of skills has allowed him to cultivate a diverse musical life:
He is a sought-after pit musician for musical theatre productions in the NYC area, including community and regional theater, cabarets, NYMF, and Off-Broadway productions.
He has proven himself an outstanding sideman for a variety of local and international artists, including drumming and music directing for Drew Angus.
He is a versatile recording session musician, his work including Drew Angus’s Hold Onto Something, Adam Price’s upcoming House Ghosts, and the songs “Fred the Carrot” and “Santa and His Life” written for the Story Pirates podcast.
He is currently on the roster for Silver Arrow Bands, one of NYC’s premier party bands.
He maintains a small portfolio of private students in the city.
Spencer is an active member of the indie band Adler Hall, for whom he is a drummer and co-writer. Adler Hall’s freshman full-band album Beware the Water is slated for release on October 5th, 2018. “Teresa,” the lead single off their upcoming LP, Beware the Water, is “lyrically beautiful,” says The Wild Honey Pie, and “builds upon the typical guitar-led folk song with a more strategic approach. There must be something in the water in Brooklyn making [its] music scene better than ever, and Adler Hall is no exception to this phenomenon.”
Oh! And next time you watch the 2014 film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s Last Five Years, see if you can spot a certain Mr. Inch in the background.
Spencer proudly endorses Dream Cymbals and Gongs and plays Evans Drumheads and Promark Sticks.