Percussion at Youngstown State University

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Why YSU? The Dana School of Music provides an outstanding value — a high quality education at one of the lowest costs of any comprehensive university in the United States. Founded in 1869, Dana, one of the oldest music schools in the US, and is part of a thriving urban university of approximately 12,000 students. Dana includes 150 music majors, 22 full-time faculty, and 25 adjunct faculty. 

Location: YSU is a beautiful tree-lined urban campus located in downtown Youngstown and is part of the culturally vibrant northeast Ohio region with Cleveland 70 miles to the Northwest, Akron 50 miles to the West, and Pittsburgh 67 miles to the Southeast. The Youngstown metropolitan area has a population of over 760,000 and offers myriad cultural amenities.

Mission: We foster a vibrant community of musicians and facilitate their learning via critical thinking, knowledge, and practical skills across broad yet interrelated areas of inquiry including performance, recording, improvisation, composition, pedagogy, theory, history, technology, mind/body research, and the music industry.

The percussion curriculum is renowned for its personalized and flexible approach seamlessly interweaving universal musical skills, percussion instrument techniques, repertoire, and each student’s unique career interests. Students may build a broad multi-instrument “total percussion” experience or more specialized instrumental/genre tracks such as rhythm, drum set, keyboard, orchestral percussion, contemporary solo and chamber music, or world percussion. Studio enrollment averages approximately 15 majors. Courses include Applied Percussion (private lessons, group lessons, Seminar Class) and Percussion Ensemble. Guest artists present clinics, master classes, lectures, recitals, and private lessons.

Opportunities: Campus-based paid gigging opportunities include: Youngstown Percussion Collective Touring Ensemble, Basketball Pep Band, Commencement Band, and accompanists for the Dance Department. Off-campus opportunities include the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Ohio Music Education Association Professional Conference, Western Pennsylvania Percussion Ensemble Symposium, regional school concerts. Area professional gigging opportunities include the Youngstown Scoring Stage, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, Warren Philharmonic, Packard Band, Youngstown Playhouse, Opera Western Reserve, and myriad drumset gigs in Cleveland, Akron, Kent, Youngstown, Warren, and Pittsburgh. Our students are employed as instructors and composer/arrangers for the Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra Percussion Section, high school drumlines, area Broadway musicals, drum circle facilitators for the SMARTS music education program, and myriad private teaching opportunities such as Music & Arts and Hubbard Music.

Faculty-Staff Glenn Schaft, DMA is Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies. He directs the Percussion Ensemble, teaches private and group lessons, Studio Seminar class, Percussion Methods, and is co-founder/faculty advisor of the Youngstown Percussion Collective. Glenn's performance and teaching credits span classical, contemporary, world, jazz, improvised, and popular music. He is a member of the Percussive Arts Society where he serves on the Drumset Committee and is an educational artist endorser with Avedis Zildjian Co., Vic Firth,  Remo Inc., and an educational consultant with Black Swamp Percussion. The faculty also includes Dylan Kollat-Drumline Instructor, Matt Hayes-adjunct instructor, a Percussion Graduate Assistant, and Undergraduate Work-Study Assistant.

Note from Dr. Glenn Schaft After 25 years at YSU, I continue to be impressed with the quality and diversity of our students and their many accomplishments: freelance performers and recording artists in Nashville, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Shanghai, Honolulu, public school music educators around the country including six-time "Top 100 Music Community in the Unites States, touring and recording with rock bands such as Breaking Benjamin, Red Wanting Blue, J.D. Eicher, Trevor Hall, the Vindy's, teaching at universities in China, Brazil, and the United States (Cleveland Institute of Music, Kent State University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Texas A&M Commerce, Casper College, Capital University, Denison University, Wright State University, Ball State University, Otterbein University, Clarion University, West Liberty State College, Southern Illinois University), instructing the DCI Phantom Regiment Front Ensemble and WGI Matrix Front Ensemble, touring on top world cruise lines, drum techs with Rascal Flats and Old Dominion, jazz drummers in New York City, director of the Troopers DCI Drum and Bugle Corps, performers in the United States Army Band, composers, artist endorsers with top percussion companies, world percussion dance accompanists, drum circle facilitators, featured appearance on the cover of Modern Drummer Magazine, YSU percussion alums earning masters and doctoral degrees at top graduate schools throughout the United States, television appearances on major network late shows and American's Got Talent, recordings for major films, musicals, writing/arranging music for the Super Bowl, music manufacturing and retail industry, music director, arranger, and producer with with major popular music artists such as Cold Play and Beyonce. For detailed information, please visit the Alumni tab.