PE - 4/1/15 Spotlight Theater

Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble
Dr. Glenn Schaft, Director
Spotlight Theater, Bliss Hall
Charles Battaglia, Warren, OH
Edward Butcher, Salem, OH
Zachary Connolly, Boardman, OH
Jesse DeLorenzo, Wampum, PA
Sean Guerrieri, Struthers, OH
Evan Gottschalk, East Palestine, OH
Aaron Graneto, Canfield, OH
Cory Grant, Victor, NY
Nathan Negro, Wooster, OH
Moriah Placer, Girard, OH
Damon Poole, Mayfield Hts., OH
Tommy Starr, Pittsburgh, PA
John Guido Vitullo, Austintown, 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. 

Scratch (2008)
Eugene Novotney (b.1960)

I. Theme

II. Cage

III. Dos-Tres

IV. Mess(age)

V. Paganini

A Palimpsest (2014)
Dan Trueman (b. 1969)

For Alto Saxophone and Percussion Ensemble

Wilson Poffenberger - Alto Saxophone

Spencer Reed - Digital Prepared Piano

Common Corps (2015)
Youngstown Percussion Collective

World Premiere

Dark Wood (2003)
Dr. David Morgan (b. 1957)


The Gilded Cage (1998)
Susan Powell
Omphalo Centric Lecture (1985)
Nigel Westlake (b.1958)
Trad. Ghanain
Arr. Cory Grant


Eugene Novotney’s Scratch features four players playing scrapers or guiros. Eugene Novotney was raised in Mentor Ohio and experienced jazz, classical, and symphonic repertoire as a young child but soon became heavily influenced by Motown and the sound of rock & roll. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, he chose to continued his studies at the University of Illinois where earned the Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts. Eugene is Professor and Director of Percussion Studies at Humbolt State University in Arcata California. Notes by Glenn Schaft 

A Palimpsest was commissioned by the International Saxophone Symposium and Competition (ISSAC) and Columbus State University. The piece requires the saxophonist to use“unconventional” techniques such as semitones, pitch bends, slap tongues, and the altissimo (high) register to create a unique soundscape. The digital prepared piano created by Dan Trueman adds another color to the spectrum and utilizes microtonality.

Wilson Poffenberger is a native of Hagerstown, Maryland and attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelors degree in Music Education. While at IUP, Wilson was an active member of the Marching Band, Symphony Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Ensemble, Crimson Combo and various Saxophone Chamber groups. While a member of the IUP saxophone studio Wilson was invited to perform with various chamber groups at the 2010, 2012, and 2013 International Navy Saxophone Symposium in Fairfax, VA as well as the 2010 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Wilson has also had the privilege to travel and record with IUP’s well known Wind Ensemble under the direction of Jack Stamp. He recorded multiple CDs with the IUP Wind Ensembles including “Radiant Joy”. Wilson also recorded with the Jazz Ensemble and can heard on their latest CD “Back For More” as featured soloist on two different tracks.

Wilson is currently pursuing a masters degree in saxophone performance at YSU and is a graduate assistant in the jazz department and saxophone studio. Wilson has held principal positions in the YSU Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble 1, Dana Symphony Orchestra and Dana Saxophone Quartet. Recently Wilson toured with the YSU Wind Ensemble ending in a performance at the 2015 Ohio Music Educators Conference. As a concert soloist Wilson was a semi-finalist in the 2013 Delta Omicron Solo Competition, a finalist in the 2013 Butler Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, semi-finalist in the 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance Collegiate Solo Competition, a chosen competitor in the 2014 International Saxophone Symposium and Competition, and winner of the 2014 Dana Young Artist competition. This summer, Wilson will attend the Université Européenne de Saxophone in Gap, France where he will study intensively with some of the world’s best classical saxophonists. Wilson’s teachers include, Keith Young, James Umble, and Kent Engelhardt. Notes by Wilson Poffenberger

Dark Wood for Four Marimbas is an attempt to fuse the harmony of Bill Evans, the counterpoint of Johannes Brahms, and the rhythms of South America. The overall form is ABA with a short coda. The composition requires performers with the ability to simultaneously maintain a solid groove and play lyrically. Notes by David Morgan and Glenn Schaft.

The Gilded Cage was written in 1998 for the Northwestern University Doctoral Percussion Quartet’s European appearances in Wurtzburg, Germany and at the RhythmSticks Percussion Festival in London, England. The title is derived from two sources: the 19th century popular song The Girl in the Gilded Cage and the 20th century percussion quartet Third Construction by John Cage. There are numerous influences from Cage’s important piece, including an early quote of the opening theme, here divided between the four performers and played on tom-toms. The “cage” theme is further exhibited in the way the performers create a constantly evolving visual cage with their sticks. Notes by Susan Powell

Omphalo Centric Lecture was composed in 1985 for the Synergy percussion group of Australia. This marimba quartet makes extensive use of polymeter or several rhythmic time structures occurring simultaneously. That device, coupled with complex but accessible melodic activity and strong rhythmic grooves, propel the piece. Notes by Glenn Schaft 

Kpatsa is traditional music from the West African nation of Ghana. The music has deep roots embedded in the mythological culture of the Ga people. According to legend, hunters learned the music by coming upon dwarfs and watching and absorbing the ritual. The hunters concealed themselves through magic so as not be discovered by the dwarfs. The music and dance was brought back to the villages and shared by the hunters.

According to legend, dwarfs have uneven legs, which would cause an uneven stride. This is influence can be seen in the dances that accompany the Kpatsa rhythms. Many of these dances have uneven patterns with the feet. The rhythms have a strong weight placed on every other macro beat, or beats one and three in a measure of western common time. In the modern world, Kpatsa is still a big part of the Ghanaian culture. Ghana's main export is undoubtedly its music. Kpatsa has become a mainstay in educational tools used by genuine African artists to teach African music and musical concepts. Notes by Cory Grant

SPECIAL THANKS: Avedis Zildjian Cymbal Co., Remo Inc, Innovative Inc., and Black Swamp Percussion for their support