PE - 11/7/17 Spotlight

Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble
Dr. Glenn Schaft
Spotlight Theater - Bliss Hall
Edward Butcher, Salem, OH
Zachary Criss, Warren, OH
Spencer Crosser, Lisbon, OH
Joel Gillespie, East Liverpool, OH
Brandon Maffitt, Warren, OH
Evan McCreary, Poland, OH
James Reardon, East Liverpool, OH
Tracy Rusk, Brookfield, OH
Tommy Starr, Pittsburgh, PA
Anthony Tresky, Pittsburgh, PA
Nathan Weingart, Canfield, OH
Brett Whitely, Orwell, OH
About the Director
GLENN SCHAFT is Professor and Director of Percussion Studies at Youngstown State University. He is the advisor/co-founder of the Youngstown Percussion Collective and an artist with Avedis Zildjian Co., Innovative Percussion Inc., Remo Inc., and a member of the Black Swamp Percussion Educators Network. Glenn earned the DMA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the MA from Eastern Illinois University, and the BM from Baldwin Wallace University. He pursued post doctoral studies in contemporary music and orchestral percussion at Cleveland State University, Afro-Cuban music in Havana, Cuba and world percussion at the Berklee School of Music World Percussion Festival. Glenn’s teachers include John Hollenbeck, John Riley, Tom Freer, Jay Burnham, Lewis Nash, Ted Piltzecker, Tom Siwe, Johnny Lee Lane, George Kiteley, Harold Damas, Linda Pimentel, and Ruben Alvarez. A member of the Percussive Arts Society, Glenn serves on the Drumset Committee and has appeared as performer, lecturer, and panelist at PAS international conventions.

Glenn’s career spans idioms such as classical, new music, world music, jazz, blues, rock, reggae, funk, Brazilian, West African, and Afro-Cuban. Glenn has recorded and served as executive producer with the Youngstown Percussion Collective, Dave Morgan, Ron Coulter, John Hollenbeck, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Scott Wyatt, Amanda Powell, Air Force Band of Mid-America, Youngstown State University Wind Ensemble, and myriad jingles.

His credits include conductors Giora Bernstein, Jeffery Siegel, Anton Coppola, Edwin London, Gunther Schuller, Paul Martin Zonn, Peter Schickele, aka P.D.Q. Bach ensembles such as Colorado Music Festival, Skaneateles (NY) Chamber Music Festival, "Artist In Residence" at Baldwin-Wallace University with BATTU contemporary/world percussion group, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Cleveland Ballet, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Opera, Robert Page Singers, Akron Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Springfield (IL) Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Duluth-Superior Symphony, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Dance Theater of Harlem, Cleveland Dance Collective, and artists such as Paul Sperry, Julie Newell, Robert Weirich, Robert Van Sice, Peter Erskine, and Ben Toth.

Glenn drumset and world music credits include Ruben Alvarez, American Jazz Orchestra, Chuck Berry, Nick Brignola, Freddie Bryant, Ndugu Chancellor, Sarah Jane Cion, Stewart Copeland, Anthony Cox, 1940's Radio Hour Show-US Tour, Todd Coolman, Harold Danko, Paquito D’Rivera, Larry Elgart, Raul Esparza, John Fedchock, Five By Design, Reynaldo Gonzales, Taku Hirano, Laurence Hobgood, Engelbert Humperdink, Randy Johnston, Sean Jones, Mike Kocour, Alison Krauss, Victor Krauss, Ralph Lalama, Tony Leonardi, Robert Lockwood Jr., Bryan Lynch, Jim McNeely, Hank Marr, Phil Palombi, Ken Peplowski, Chita Rivera, Trichy Sankaran, Michael Spiro, Marvin Stamm, Chip Stephens, The Texas Tenors, Alan Vizzutti, Dan Wall, James Weidman, Michael Weiss, Mike Wofford, Women of the Phantom, Andrea Zonn, and Youngstown State University Faculty Jazz Group.
About the YSU Percussion Ensemble

Notable performances include the 2018 Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, Percussive Arts Society Ohio Chapter Days of Percussion at Capital University, Ohio Northern University, Youngstown State University, and Ohio Music Education Association Conferences in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. A central part of our mission involves collaborations with composers in the commissioning, premiering, and critically acclaimed recording of their works. Our 2005 release "Dark Wood" includes six premiere recordings and commissions. Our commission project with New York City-based percussionist/composer John Hollenbeck on his "Ziggurat" for five percussionists and four saxophonists, was premiered at the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City, and is available on his 2008 release "Rainbow Jimmies." The Youngstown Percussion Collective's 2012 release "Forms Of Things Unknown" is a concert-length suite by YSU professor of jazz studies, bass, and composition, Dr. Dave Morgan. Our 2012 recording of Ron Coulter's "Cajon Trio" will appear on an upcoming 2019 Coulter CD release. 

Trio (1994)
Daniel Levitan (b. 1953)

Trio is based on a two-measure rhythmic phrase that recurs frequently in classical literature. Here, that phrase serves as a rhythmic theme, developed by the cowbells and drums over the steady time kept by the temple block. Composer and percussionist Daniel Levitan studied composition at Bennington College with Henry Brant Vivian Fine, and Marta Ptazynska. Percussion studies include marimba with Tom Hemphill, talba with Phil Ford and Ray Speigel, and conga and Latin percussion with Frankie Malabe. The YSU Percussion Ensemble has recorded Levitan's Septet which available on our commercial release Dark Wood. Notes by Daniel Levitan.

Snare Drum for Camus (1980)
Joseph Celli (b. 1944)

Unlike much Western concert music, Snare Drum for Camus is not notated, but is transmitted aurally. The composer states: it is a tone color exploration which is built on a simple seven-note sticking pattern (LR LR LRR) repeated throughout. However, the performers are encouraged to think in larger phrases such as 14 or 28 notes. The formal structure consists of a general timbral progression, a symmetrical arch form, utilizing rim sounds, rim shots, skin sounds, rim shots, and concluding on rim sounds. The performers exhibit considerable freedom by choosing various predetermined and improvised phrases. This type of piece can be understood as “slow process music” in which the beauty unfolds gradually from one pattern to the next. Not only do the timbral patterns change, but the listener’s perception of their place in the metric phrase may also change. Notes by Glenn Schaft

Catching Shadows (2013)
Ivan Trevino (b. 1983)
Tommy Starr, Nathan Weingart - marimba

Catching Shadows is a marimba duo commissioned by Michael Burritt, professor of percussion at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. The piece was premiered by Michael and I at the 2013 Rochester Fringe Festival.

Michael and I have become good friends and collaborators over the years, and on a recent road trip to a gig, he said, "I'm in charge of the tunes!" Honestly, I didn't know what to expect! He plugged in his iPod – Radiohead, Dave Matthews, then Earth, Wind & Fire. That's when I discovered something cool about Mike: he's as much a rock musician as a classical musician. It just so happens he plays marimba. Sometime, I feel the same way. With Catching Shadows, I thought about our road trip and decided to write a rock tune inspired by Mike's playlist. Ivan Trevino, October 2013

Tub Thumper (2013)
Nicholas Sainato (b. 1988)

(Concerto for Drum Set with Five Percussionists)

            I. Pocket Watch

            II. Clockwork

            III. Second Hand

Edward "Hobie" Butcher – Soloist

Nicholas Sainato is a Boardman, OH native. After graduating from Boardman High School in 2006, Nicholas attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, later transferring to Youngstown State University and graduating in 2014 with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance (Drum Set). While at YSU, Nicholas performed in the Jazz Ensembles, Jazz Combos, and the Percussion Ensemble. As a member of the Youngstown Percussion Collective, he participated in the commissioning and recording of Dr. Dave Morgan's Forms of Things Unknown. He performed regularly around Northeast Ohio with The Strange Familiar, The Dennis Drummond Trio, and The Vindys. Several songs that he wrote with his group The Strange Familiar were featured in television shows such as The CW's The Vampire Diaries and ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars. After graduation, Nicholas moved to Nashville, TN where he currently lives and works as a touring/session drummer. He is currently performing with pop duo Nightly (Interscope), country artist Clare Dunn (Universal/MCA), & Nolan Neal (The Voice), including performances at Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, and the Grand Ole Opry. Tub Thumper was composed under the direction of Dr. Schaft for the percussion ensemble and Nick's senior recital, and later recorded at TakeNote Productions for a future release. Notes by Nick Sainato

Rancho Jubilee (2009)
Andrew Beall (b. 1980)

Rancho Jubilee is the name of a Dominican restaurant on my neighborhood corner in Washington Heights, New York City. It's fun decor and lively atmosphere mixed with Latin and Caribbean influences provided a nice setting for composing this trio. Cajon is a Spanish word, meaning "box". The instrument originated in Peru and has become popular in Spanish Flamenco music. Because of the wire strings extending across one of the instrument's interior panels, it produces distinct low, mid, and high frequency timbres, not unlike the drumset snare drum and bass drum. Notes by Andrew Beall.

Cross (1997) - Eugene Novotney (b. 1960)

Cross features freshmen Zachary Criss, drum soloist, accompanied by the rest of our 2017 freshmen class as hand-clappers. Eugene Novotney, the composer, was raised in Mentor, Ohio and is Director of Percussion Studies at Humboldt State University in northern California. He has written several outstanding works for percussion ensemble and soloist and has studied Afro-Cuban Folkloric and popular music with master Cuban musicians and this influence is readily apparent in Cross, which is based on the Cuban clave and cascara rhythms. We have expanded the work to include an improvised solo section. Notes by Glenn Schaft.


Fandango 13 (2013) - Michael Burritt (b. 1962)

Fandango 13 is a virtuosic dance in mixed meter scored for percussion sextet. It was originally scored as a quartet and served as the third and final movement to a larger piece titled 4 Points West, a commission from the West Point Academy Percussion Quartet in 2005. Fandango 13 is a re-orchestration and expansion of this movement. The pitch material is essentially modal in nature with cadences in major and minor tonalities but never truly establishes a true tonal center. Fandango is a milieu of the many styles, ranging from pop and jazz to minimalism and contemporary music, that comprise my musical experience. Notes by Michael Burritt