Vicki Peterson Jenks

Posted May 22, 2019

Wild Rose, WI

Vicki Peterson Jenks, native North Dakotan, received her musical training at Minot State University, UW-Stevens Point, and Baylor University.  In 1976, she founded the percussion program at UT- Paso and ‘Repercussion’, a professional marimba band.

Upon her move to Madison, Wisconsin in 1980, she created and developed the Education Department at Ward-Brodt Music Company, one of the Midwest’s premiere retail music stores.  Under her guidance, and in just three years, student enrollment increased from 20 to 400!

As an active freelance percussionist, Vicki performed for 10 years with the Madison Symphony Orchestra and 22 years as Principal Timpanist with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.  She currently serves as Master Adjudicator for the Wisconsin Schools Music Association.

From 1985-2005, Vicki owned and operated JENKS MUSIC STUDIO, Wisconsin’s largest private percussion studio.  Studying her ‘Total Percussive Musicianship’ curriculum, her students perennially filled the percussion sections of Wisconsin Honors Bands and Orchestras, the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras, and Carnegie Hall’s National Wind Ensemble.  JENKS MUSIC STUDIO alumni currently hold top positions in orchestras and at universities around the globe with extremely successful private studios of their own.

Vicki’s great ‘passion’ is serving as Director of Percussion for the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) located in Madison, Wisconsin.  This is her 41st year with WYSO.

Under her direction, her WYSO Percussion Ensembles have received national recognition from PAS, MENC, the National Band Association, Wisconsin Music Educators Association, and the prestigious Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.  Her ensembles have performed throughout Argentina, Great Britain, Peru, Japan, and Taiwan.  The WYSO Percussion Ensemble’s annual EXTRAVAGANZA raises important funds for Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, the American Red Cross in Wisconsin, and Ronald McDonald House.

In 2004, Vicki was nominated for the ATHENA AWARD, sponsored by the Business Forum, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, and United Way of Dane County.  Nominees help other women attain their full potential, demonstrate professional excellence, and provide philanthropic leadership and business savvy.

In 2005, Vicki was one of only three percussion educators in the world chosen to lecture at PASIC in Columbus, Ohio.  In 2008, Vicki received the highest recognition presented to any percussion educator in the world—the ‘Lifetime Achievement in Education’ award and was inducted into PAS’ Hall of Fame.

Vicki is a member of the Wild Rose Kiwanis Club.  She is an active church pianist, performs at area nursing homes, retirement villages, and the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King, Wisconsin.

Since 2007, Vicki has served as a Red Cross DISASTER ACTION TEAM volunteer in Northeast Wisconsin.  DAT teams respond to all manner of disasters, but primarily, residential FIRES.  In addition, Vicki is Community Volunteer Leader for the Wisconsin American Red Cross, serving on their Northeast Board of Directors as an Emeritus Member.

In the fall of 2011, she received the Clara Barton Honor Award, the most esteemed award presented to any American Red Cross volunteer in the USA.  The well-known HEROES Musicalessm, co-founded by Vicki and her husband (John), have raised well over $600,000 for local disaster relief and Service to the Armed Forces.

In the fall of 2011, she was named “Citizen of the Year” in Waushara County, Wisconsin.

This past September (2021), Vicki began studies at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA, to become a Deacon-Chaplain in Word and Service.  She hopes to serve on the Red Cross Integrated Care and Condolence Team and in hospice environments.

2022 marks Vicki’s 26th year at Birch Creek.