Sistema NB music teacher named an official SABIAN artist

By Shelley Steeves Global News -- Posted June 5, 2023

A music teacher in New Brunswick has hit a high note in the eyes of his students.

Ian Gibson, a working artist, percussionist and Sistema instructor, was recently recognized by Sabian cymbals for his talents and teachings alongside some of the most popular drummers in the world.

“It is cool. I don’t think of myself as being on that level,” said Gibson.

Gibson, of Saint John, N.B., has been named an official Sabian artist by the cymbal manufacturer known around the globe for collaborating with some big time names in the music industry.

“You know, I could go to the biggest names like Phil Collins and his son Nick and Chester Thompson who was their drummer,” said Andy Zildjian, Sabian president.

It is impressive company for a Canadian professional percussionist who first fell in love with hitting out notes back in Grade 7.

“When I first said I was going to go to school for music, a lot of my relatives were like, ‘What are you going to do, just busk?” said Gibson.

Far from it, he now plays regularly with professional orchestras and has become known as one of the best in his field.

To be recognized by Sabian, a global leader in manufacturing handcrafted cymbals and percussion instruments, is an honour, he says.

Sabian is a supporter of the Sistema free after-school music program for youth living on limited means, with New Brunswick now home to the largest pool of Sistema students in Canada.

“He has done a wonderful job in bringing the musicality and the joy of playing out of these students and to me, that is one of the keys of an educator,” said Zildjian.

Calie Urley is one of Gibson’s students and said, “He is the best person at percussion that I have ever met before.”

Gibson hopes his designation as a Sabian artist will help create even more awareness for the program right across Canada and also set an example that becoming a musician, a percussionist in particular, is not just a hobby but a viable career.