Youngstown Percussion Collective


The Youngstown Percussion Collective is a non-profit student organization in-youngstown percussion collective musicians in studioresidence at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio. YPC’s mission integrates composer commission projects, premiere performances and recordings, and educational outreach events along with fundraising. The Collective developed in the late 1990's amongst students Ron Coulter, Nathan Douds, and Craig Hill in collaboration with Dr. Glenn Schaft, Director of Percussion Studies and YPC Faculty Advisor. YPC's recordings include Dark Wood and Dave Morgan's Forms Of Things Unknown. YPC premiered John Hollenbeck's Ziggurat, (Exterior) at the Whitney Museum of Modern Art in New York City and recorded it for his Rainbow Jimmies release.  YPC recently recorded two student-composed concerti with percussion ensemble; Tub Thumper (drumset) by Nick Sainato and Concerto for Doumbek and Percussion Ensemble by Evan Gottschalk.

   Membership is open to YSU students, alumni, and faculty. YPC organizational meetings occur throughout the academic year. Active student dues are $5 per semester. Passive (alumni and faculty members) dues are $15 and are due by the third meeting each semester.



YPC was co-founded in the late 1990s by Ron Coulter, Nathan Douds, and Craig Hill, as a collaborative initiative with Dr. Glenn Schaft, the Director of Percussion Studies at Youngstown State University.

Forms Of Things Unknown, is the Youngstown Percussion Collective's most recent recording and represents the work of a two-year commission project with YSU jazz faculty member Dr. Morgan, who composed a one-hour tour de force percussion extravaganza. Premiered in 2011, YPC recorded the work at the Dana School of Music and performed it at the Ohio Music Education Association Professional Conference in Columbus and the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown. Available at I-Tunes and CD

YPC performed at the 2003 Percussive Arts Society International Convention New Music Day feature evening concert in Louisville, Kentucky where they collaborated with Tim Strelau, George Kiteley, and other Cleveland area percussionists and the Dance Theater Collective of Cleveland to present the music of Lou Harrison.

In 2003 YPC’s founding members Ron Coulter, Nathan Douds, and Craig Hill commissioned, premiered, and recorded composer Till Meyn's percussion trio Groovelocity, which features marimba soloist Ron Coulter and is available on the YPC disc Dark Wood.

YPC hosted the 2006 Percussive Arts Society Ohio Chapter Day of Percussion at YSU that attracted hundreds of attendees. This event included a percussion retail expo, clinics, performances by university and high school percussion ensembles, and renowned guest artists such as Michael Burritt, John Riley, Michael Rosen, Ruben Alvarez, Tom Freer, and Mike McIntosh.

In 2007 YPC released their first compact disc Dark Wood which contains six previously unrecorded works including four commissions by Glenn Schaft and YPC. Dark Wood is available and has received critical acclaim from the Percussive Arts Society and others.

In 2007 YPC commissioned a piece for five percussion and four saxophones by percussionist/composer John Hollenbeck, entitled Ziggurat (exterior). YPC performed the world premiere at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City in 2007, the Youngstown premiere at the DeYor Center for the Performing Arts in 2007, and the recording of the work was released on the 2008 John Hollenbeck disc, Rainbow Jimmies which has received critical acclaim.

In 2012 YPC recorded Ron Coulter’s cajon trio at Tune Town Studio’s. Glenn Schaft served as executive producer with Dustin May, Dylan Kollat, and Matt Hayes performing. This piece will be included on an upcoming Ron Coulter release.

YPC recently recorded two student-composed concerti with percussion ensemble; Tub Thumper (drumset) by Nick Sainato and Concerto for Doumbek and Percussion Ensemble by Evan Gottschalk.


K-12 School Performance and Education Outreach Program

The Youngstown Percussion Collective (YPC) has an exciting multi-cultural performance/education outreach program — the K-12 World Percussion Program. Our objective is to inspire young audiences and help them understand the universal elements of musical communication through the experience of rhythm as movement, music as a communal activity, and the beauty, simplicity, and appeal of percussion instruments from around the world.

We offer a K-8 and a high school program. Each includes audience participation, discussion/demonstration of the instruments, and question/answer opportunities. Programs can be tailored to the entire student body, exclusively music students, or a single classroom or ensemble. Each program is typically 45-50 minutes, or may be tailored to your schedule. Our fees are reasonable, negotiable, and we offer a discount for back-to-back performances.

Performances include a group of premiere upperclassmen from the YSU Percussion Studio.

The World Percussion Program allows our students to gain performance and teaching experience and the proceeds help YPC (a non-profit YSU sponsored student organization) fund recording projects, guest artists, composer commission projects, and the advancement of music education in our region.

Our current K-8 program includes: Samba Batucada - traditional carnival percussion music from Brazil, Rumba Guaguanco - Afro-Cuban folkloric conga drumming, Head Talk - a contemporary American percussion theater piece, Wenda Kanawa - South African marimba music, and Stubernic – a virtuosic marimba showpiece by Mark Ford. The high school program includes unique repertoire and offers more in-depth discussion and audience participation opportunities.


Recent Performance History:


  • Warren G. Harding High School, Warren, OH, 5/5/2015, host, attendance 250 upperclassmen
  • Steubenville Central Catholic High School, Steubenville, OH, 4/17/15, Eric Zalenski, host, attendance 250
  • Jackson-Milton Elementary School, North Jackson, OH 5/10/11, Tyler Husosky, host, attendance 300
  • Maplewood Elementary School, Townville, PA, 5/6/11, Jennifer Wilkinson, host, attendance 700
  • Groveport Madison High School, 4/30/10 Patrick O'Donnell, host. Attendance 500. Day-long residency included clinics, rehearsals, and a concert featuring YPC, GMHS, and collaborative pieces including Afro-Cuban Bembe and Brazilian Samba Batucada.
  • Jackson-Milton Elementary School, North Jackson, OH 3/26/10, Tyler students playing steel drumsHusosky, host, attendance 300. Below, YPC performs with Jackson Milton Elementary School Steel Drum Band - Tyler Husosky, director, May 2011
  • Maplewood Elementary School, Townville, PA, 4/3/09, Jennifer Wilkinson, host, attendance 700
  • Employment Development Incorporated, East Liverpool, OH, 3/11/09, attendance 70.
  • Poland Union Elementary School, Poland, OH, 3/12/09 Carmella Smallhoover - principal, attendance 350
  • C. H. Campbell Elementary School - Canfield, OH, 1/23/09 Kent Polan-principal, Janet Williams - music educator, attendance 500.
  • Poland Union Elementary School, 2006, 2007, 2008. Carmella Smallhoover - principal, attendance 350 at each event
  • Poland North Elementary School, 2004, 2005, 2006. Michael Masucci - principal

Contact: Dr. Glenn Schaft  330.941.3643 or Dr. Schaft

Testimonials and reviews:

Our students from Kindergarten through 4th Grade were totally engaged and mesmerized by the recent Youngstown Percussion Collective assembly at C.H. Campbell Elementary in Canfield.  The inspirational performance demonstrated talent, fun, creativity and an appreciation for music and instruments of the WORLD!  These qualities positively support Ohio standards, benchmarks and indicators!  Students and teachers alike sat feeling the rhythms and being amazed by the sound and visuals of this performance! Our students use world music instruments in the Music classroom, with third grade students enjoying a cross-curricular focus, making instruments and playing authentic rhythms of cultures around the world.  Our youngest students however were equally attentive and enthralled by the performance. Thanks so much for inspiring our students!   Janet Williams, Music Specialist C. H. Campbell Elementary, Canfield, OH.

The program was perfect for students kindergarten thru 6th grade. The members of the group kept the audience engaged throughout the performance. The group demonstrated perfectly what dedication to music can produce. It was truly an inspirational performance, especially for my 5th and 6th grade band students. It is great to see the musicianship of my Alma Mater is still held very high and the group continues to produce excellent percussionists. I would absolutely love to bring YPC back for another performance in future years. Eric Zalenski, Band Director, Steubenville Catholic Central High School.

On behalf of all of us here at Employment Development Incorporated I want to thank you and the Youngstown Percussion Collective for the great experience that you all brought to our workshop. The performance by the young men in the group was outstanding and demonstrated to our enrollees the many ways music can be made. I have to believe that the opening number where the ensemble was seated on the floor and used it as one of the instruments just amazed most of our guys. The drum circle was just a lot of fun. Our folks love to participate in whatever is going on and they thoroughly enjoyed adding to the musical mayhem. It took the rest of the afternoon to get everyone wound down. Greg Tompkins - director of Employment Development Inc. East Liverpool, OH.

We were delighted to have the Youngstown Percussion Collective.  Our students enjoyed the program and it provided a wonderful musical experience for them that may not be available in any other venue. Thanks to you and your students for a great program. Carmella Smallhoover, Principal, Union Elementary, Poland, OH.

Both exciting and educational!  Students and staff at Maplewood Elementary throughly enjoyed every moment of the performance by Youngstown Percussion Collective.  The performance captivated even the youngest listeners and was described as fun, awesome, terrific, spectacular and exciting.  The program was extremely musically motivating for the entire school! Jennifer Wilkinson, Maplewood Elementary, Music Teacher, Townville, PA ***

percussion students performing

On Friday, April 3rd, The Youngstown Percussion Collective presented a superb assembly for the students of Maplewood Elementary. The five man group from Youngstown State University, directed by Dr. Glenn Schaft, presented several compositions that showcased a wide variety of percussion instruments. The group’s purpose is “to inspire young audiences and help them understand the universal elements of musical communication as well as the experience of rhythm as movement, music as a communal activity, and the beauty, simplicity, and appeal of percussion instruments from around the world.”

percussion students picture with dr glennschaft

percussion stduents performing

.Enthralled, students listened to a program made up of percussion music from countries around the world. Pieces performed were:  Samba Batucada – traditional carnival percussion music from Brazil, Rumba Guaguanco – Afro-Cuban folkloric conga drumming, Head Talk – a contemporary American percussion theater piece, Wenda Kanawa – South African popular marimba music, and Stubernic – a virtuosic marimba showpiece by Mark Ford.
We thank Mr. Gardner and Mrs. Wilkinson for contacting Dr. Schaft and having him bring his percussion collective to our school.

percussion students and dr glenn schaft performing