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Alumni

YSU percussion alums and former students of Glenn Schaft:


Darren Allen - BME 2002. – Darren is Director of Bands at Bay High School in the Bay Village, Ohio where the music program has been voted a “Top 100 Music Community in the United States” for six years in a row. Mr. Allen is currently pursuing his master’s degree in music education at Case Western Reserve University. As a guest conductor, he works with the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony, which performs regularly at Severance Hall. He also frequently performs in area jazz ensembles including the Dukes of Wail, Dan Zola Orchestra, Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and Ernie Krivda & The Fat Tuesday Big Band. Mr. Allen and his wife Alice, a harpist, perform together in the Parma Symphony Orchestra, which had its Severance Hall debut during the 2007 season.


Joe Amadio – Studied with Glenn at YSU for one year as Jazz Studies Major. Also studied as a jazz studies candidate at Ohio State University. Presently works at Columbus Pro Percussion and is a freelance artist in Columbus, OH. 


Mike Anderson - BME 2008. Michael is currently a freelance percussionist in Hartford, Connecticut where he earned the Master of Music at the Hartt School of Music and studied with Ben Toth. While at YSU, Michael was co-founder and president of the Youngstown State Percussion Collective. During that time, the group organized and hosted the 2006 Ohio PAS Day of Percussion, hosted several guest artists/speakers, and commissioned a new work for percussion and saxophone by John Hollenbeck. The resulting piece, Ziggurat (exterior), for five percussionists and four alto saxophonists, was premiered by the group in New York City at the Whitney Museum and can be heard on Hollenbeck’s CD “Rainbow Jimmies.” Mike attended the So Percussion Institute in Princeton, NJ summer 2009.


Dean Anshutz - BM 2008. Drummer with national touring group, Red Wanting Blue, based in Columbus, OH.


Tony Artimisi - Studied in Glenn’s timpani and drumset classes at the United States Percussion Camps. Freelance artist in Nashville, TN.


Chris Bennett - BME 1997, MM 1999. Instrumental Music Director at Ada High School in Michigan. Served as Band/Percussion Graduate Assistant at YSU. Has performed with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, Warren Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra, W. D. Packard Band, Youngstown Playhouse, Canton Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps.


Jason Birch studied at Youngstown State University, West Virginia University and is currently at West Liberty State College. While attending YSU, he studied percussion and drum set with Dr. Glenn Schaft. At WVU, he has studied with Al Wrublesky, a specialist in drum set. Jason has performed with various groups such as Jr. Pezz, Real Silk Band, Steel Casa, Johnny Tillotson and The Crystals. Some of Jason's influences include “Philly” Joe Jones, Elvin Jones, Roy Haynes, Buddy Rich, Dave Weckl, Vinnie Colaiuta, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Antonio Sanchez and Allison Miller.


Adam Bokesh - Previously a music recording major at YSU. Presently a freelance drumset artist in Nashville, TN.


Keith Born - BME 2015. 


Tarcisio Braga – Professor of Percussion at Federal University, Uberlândia, Brazil. Tarcisio studied at YSU from 2000-03 before returning to Brazil where he earned his undergraduate percussion performance degree in 2004 at the Federal University of Minas Gerais and his graduate degree in percussion performance in 2009. Presently pursuing a DMA in Brazil.


Corey Brunstetter - web/multimedia developer in Cleveland, OH.


Robert E Bulkey, Jr. - 1953-1991. A native of Youngstown, Rob graduated from Liberty High School in 1971, attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY and eventually returned home, transferring to YSU to pursue his studies in the famed YSU Jazz Program. At YSU Rob performed in Jazz Ensemble I under the direction of Tony Leonardi, studied percussion with Joe Parlink, and earned the respect of the musical community as a top drummer in the area. He moved to New York City in 1980 working in financial services in the World Trade Center, while trying to advance his musical career.  He reached a high level of mastery as a musician although he suffered from Rheumatoid arthritis his entire life. He felt compelled to record something while at the peak of his physical abilities and so in 1979 at Peppermint Studios in Youngstown he recorded an album featuring YSU alums Tony Leonardi-bass, Harold Danko-piano, Ralph Lalama-tenor sax, and Jim Masters-trombone and is released on Consolidated Artists Productions. In 2013, the Bulkley family created the Robert E Bulkley Jr. Memorial Scholarship in his honor. This annual endowed award is designed for an outstanding jazz drummer/percussionist in the YSU Jazz Studies Program. Notes by Jim Masters and Glenn Schaft


Mario Butera - BM, 2009, BME 2015. Director of Bands at Geneva Schools, Ohio - 6, 7, & 8th grade general music; high school marching band, concert band, jazz band, music history, and music theory.  Formerly in his hometown of Carnegie, Pennsylvania, Mario taught orchestral percussion with the Pittsburgh Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (PYPO) 2005-15, Percussion Coordinator and Orchestra Manager. He has assisted PYPO with three European tours, the most recent of which was a ten-day concert tour of France and Italy in July 2012.  Please visit www.pypo.org for more information. Mario is also a percussion instructor for the West Allegheny School District (WA) located in Imperial, Pennsylvania. At WA, Mario instructs the marching band and the percussion ensemble. In addition to his duties with PYPO and WA, Mario maintained a private percussion studio at Lazier’s Harmony Music Studios located in Harmony, Pennsylvania. Mario is a member of the Percussive Arts Society and the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity.


Tom Christianson - Studied with Glenn in Fargo, North Dakota, 1986-87. Presently a member of the Varying Degrees Percussion Trio, Director of Percussion at Valley City State University, and faculty at the International Music Camp in North Dakota. Tom is also the percussion instructor at Jamestown College as well as an adjunct professor at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He performs regularly as a freelance musician throughout the Red River Valley region in a variety of settings ranging from classical to jazz. He has recorded with the Gotham Wind Symphony and can be heard on multiple recordings on the Barking Dog Records label.


Joshua Colson - BME, 2012. Teacher at Somerton School in Yuma, Arizona


Ron Coulter – BM-2002, MM 2004. Ron Coulter is currently Assistant Professor at Casper College in Casper Wyoming. For ten years he served as Senior Lecturer of Percussion Studies and Improvisation at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and adjunct Instructor of Percussion at John A. Logan College in Carterville, IL. He previously taught at Clarion University of Pennsylvania and the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. In 2006 Ron became an Educational Endorser with the ProMark Corporation and Black Swamp Percussion.

Ron has been a free-lance percussionist since 1997, performing in a wide range of musical situations from marching percussion to live electronica. As a performer, he has toured nationally and internationally appearing in 41 U.S. states and most major cities in Canada and Japan.He has performed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Four Aces, Donadi, Sean Jones, Al Martino, Julia Rich, the Gaylords, New Arts Jazztet, Galen Abdur-Razzaq, Marvin Stamm, Joanne Brackeen, Chuck Mangione, Sony Holland, Maria Schneider, Sandy Duncan, Beat Kastley, Nick Hilscher, Robert Van Sice, Steve Lippia, Dick Johnson, Eric Mandat, Marvin Hamlisch, Rapture 7, and Christina Fontanelli, among many others.Ron has performed at two Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, the International Society for Improvised Music Symposium, the College Music Society National Convention, the Music Educators National Convention (MENC), and numerous state and regional MENC conventions.In 2002 Ron was a finalist in the Percussive Arts Society International Multiple Percussion Competition.He is a co-founder of the Percussion Art Ensemble and the Youngstown Percussion Collective, and in 2005 he founded the Perkusiv Arts Elektronik; an ongoing series of sound events exploring the performance of existing and the creation of new electro-acoustic music, including 69 world premiers to date.Other performance credits include the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, Paducah Symphony, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Southern Illinois Music Festival Orchestra, Warren Philharmonic, Warren Packard Band, Altgeld Chamber Players, and the Shenango Valley Lyric Opera.Current interests in interdisciplinary collaboration and non-idiomatic improvisation have led to the creation of the Southern Illinois Improvisation Series (SiiS), organizing Fluxusconcerts, co-founding RED VIXA, and collaborative projects with artists specializing in performance art, video, sound art, and spoken word.The SiiS is a monthly series presenting sound events that explore site-specific work, interdisciplinary collaboration, technology integration, sound installations, sound education, and documentation.As a composer, Ron has created more than 90 original compositions for acoustic and electro-acoustic mediums encompassing numerous genres.His compositions have been performed throughout the U.S., most recently in Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia, Colorado, and New York City.Originally from Hermitage, Pennsylvania, Ron Coulter (b. 1978) was raised on a dairy farm and eventually earned M.M. and B.M. degrees in Percussion Performance from Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio.He is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies at SIUC.His principle teachers include Dr. Glenn Schaft, Tony Leonardi, Dr. Stephen Gage, Feza Zweifel, John Riley, Erica Azim, Fred Morris, and Nina DeCiancio. http://www.roncoulter.org/homepage/index.html


Dan Danch - BM 2014. Percussion Instructor at St. Edward High School in Cleveland, OH. 


Ed Davis - MM 2012. Ed is currently adjunct percussion faculty at YSU and a freelance percussionist in northeast Ohio. Served as a graduate teaching assistant 2010-12 including assistant director of the YSU Percussion Ensemble and taught Percussion Methods courses. Ed has also been active on the music scene in the Youngstown area, playing with Todd Cutshaw, Radio Lark, and Jordan DePaul & The Reputations on a regular basis. Ed is also a drum circle facilitator for the SMARTS educational outreach program and percussion instructor at Motter’s Music in Canfield, OH. Ed was visiting professor and taught world percussion at Capital University in Columbus 2012-13.

Originally from West Liberty, OH, Ed attended the Capital University Conservatory of Music in Columbus, OH and earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Media degree in 2004. As a student at Capital, Ed performed in variety of jazz, percussion and wind ensembles and worked as an assistant to world percussion instructor, Eric Paton, performing and teaching at schools across Ohio. While living in Columbus, Ed worked as an instructor at Columbus Pro Percussion and performed in a variety of styles as a freelance musician. Focusing on mainly drumset and world percussion, Ed has performed with groups such as the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, Chuck Mangione, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and served as a member of national recording act, Red Wanting Blue. He can be heard on their newest release “These Magnificent Miles” (Fanatic/EMI). 


Derek Dixie - jazz studies major at YSU ca. 2001-03. Diploma, Recording Workshop, Chillicothe, OH. Music director, arranger & producer for Beyoncé.


Cory Doran - BM 2009. Cory is a freelance artist based in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Cory served as the interim adjunct director of percussion studies at Kent State University 2016-17. Cory received his MM in Performance from Texas A&M University under the instruction of Dr. Brian Zator and his undergraduate degree (2009) in performance under the instruction of Dr. Glenn Schaft. Formerly the Percussion Director at Hilliard Bradley High School in Hilliard, Ohio, Cory has instructed throughout northeast Ohio, northeast Texas, and Pittsburgh as a front ensemble specialist as well as concert percussion and drum set clinician. As a teacher, Cory has made a name for himself as a front ensemble instructor for Matrix Indoor Marching Percussion Ensemble (2009- present), the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (2015- present), and Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps (2009-2011). In addition, has composed/arranged for Hilliard Bradley, St John’s Jesuit HS, Revalation Indoor Marching Percussion Ensemble, Amhurst HS Indoor Percussion, Impluse Indoor Percussion, Texas A&M University-Commerce marching percussion section, and Grove City HS front ensemble. His performance experience includes the Columbus top-40 band The Popbillies, Country Band, Union Rose, and Tangent Impact Percussion Project.  


Nathan Douds - BM 2004. Red Wing, Minnesota. MM Jazz Piano from Bowling Green University. Drums, piano, composition.


Robert Flamino - Freelance artist in Western, Pennsylvania.


Joanna Fuchs - BMH 2009. MM from Brandeis University, Boston. Music Resources Assistant, Brandeis University, Boston.


Jim Gault - BME 1977, studied with Myron J. Whistler and Joseph Parlink.  Served as acting Principal with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra 1972-1976. Taught in the Hilliard City Schools  1978-2000. Currently adjudicates for OMEA Marching Band events, HS, and JrH Solo and ensemble events. Also performs in two Columbus Ohio area community bands.


Evan Gottschalk - BMR 2015. Plays with the heavy metal band Wretch. Freelance artist and drum circle facilitator based in NE Ohio.


Aaron Graneto - BMR candidate 2017. 


Andy Hacker - Studied with Glenn at YSU 2015-16. Percussion Advisor at Niles McKinley High School. 


Matt Hadaway – Freelance drumset artist in Cleveland, Ohio. Formerly a freelance artist in New York City and London, England. While in high school, Matt studied privately with Glenn Schaft in Cleveland in the early 1990's. http://www.myspace.com/matthadaway


Joshua Haggerty – BME 2006. MM (2008) at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. DMA,University of Illinois 2016, studied with Ricardo Flores and William Moersch. Served as adjunct percussion methods instructor at YSU 2008-10. Presently (since 2016) Assistant Band Director and Percussion Director at A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, Texas. Previously taught at a high school near South Padre Island, Texas. 


Tim Hampton – BM 2009, Freelance artist in Cleveland, Ohio. Earned the master of Music Performance(2011) from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He has taught at Educator’s Music since 2011. Tim currently serves as instructor at the Cleveland Institute of Music preparatory program, percussion advisor for Lakewood High School, and the assistant band director for the Saint Ignatius High School marching band. He also directs the percussion ensemble at Lakewood High School. Tim is an active freelance percussionist, and has played with the Firelands Symphony Orchestra, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, the Northcoast Men’s Chorus, Samba Joia Brazilian ensemble, and the Joe Wendel Polka Orchestra, among others.


Matt Hayes - BME 2014. Freelance percussionist based in Youngstown, OH. Teaches at the DrumSmith in Struthers, OH.


Craig Hill – BM 2003, MM 2005. Craig is currently performing internationally as a drummer, percussionist and bandleader and was one of the featured performers in the 2013-14 Tokyo Kitchen Beat percussion trio. Through Stiletto Entertainment, Crystal/NYK, and Holland America Line, Craig has played within the reading ensembles of the Grand World Voyages and the inaugural run of the Nieuw Amsterdam.  A few of the artists that he has performed with include Wayne Newton, Melissa Manchester, Nestor Torres, Judy Carmichael, Joel Mason, Ian Finkel, Dale Kristien, Jeff Trachta, Tamara Guo, Cecil Welch, Carme Pitrello, Reuben Alvarez, Reynaldo Gonzales, Lovena Fox, Jim McNeely, Jimmy Heath, Don Bradon, Conrad Herwig, Allen Vizzutti, Paul Baker, and Dick Cantino. As an assistant band director and percussion specialist, Craig taught at John Horn High School, Berry Middle School, and Terry Middle School in Dallas, Texas.  In addition to managing all aspects of percussion instruction, Craig also team-taught a variety of large and chamber ensembles in the orchestral, band, jazz, marching, choir, and new music departments. Craig received the Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from Youngstown State University in 2005 while working as a graduate assistant.  Completing the Bachelor of Music in Education from Youngstown State University in 2003, he is licensed to teach in the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.


Alex Hines - Youngstown based professional musician. Studied at YSU 2006-09.


Tyler Husosky – BM 2008. Director of Bands at Champion High School, near Warren, Ohio. Former instructor for YSU Marching Pride Drumline. Tyler graduated from Howland High School in 2004 where he participated in marching band, symphonic band, solo and ensemble contest, and was a member of the 2004 All-State Orchestra.  While at Youngstown State University, Tyler was a member of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Dana Symphony Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, and the YSU Marching Pride.  He was also a pit member for "Urinetown" and "The Golden Apple" productions.  Tyler's principle teachers include Dr. Glenn Schaft, Rob Ferguson, Ron Coulter and Tony Ferderber.

Tyler's teaching experience includes a studio of private students, coach of the Stambaugh Youth Concert Band and Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra percussion sections, drumline instructor for Champion and LaBrae High Schools, as well as coaching percussion ensembles for district solo and ensemble contest. 

Recently, Tyler worked with the Trumbull Art Galleries' "Summerfest" art program where he worked with students of various ages creating homemade percussion instruments and doing rhythm workshops.  He is also a founding member of the "Somewhere in the Sun" steel drum duo with Zachary Taylor, and has substituted with the W.D. Packard Concert Band. Tyler is currently a member of the Percussive Arts Society and the Ohio Collegiate Music Educators Association. 


Nate Jones - studied music notation with Glenn at YSU ca. 2010. Presently lives in Jacksonville, Florida where he teaches drum lessons. Played drums with James Brown, Isley Brothers, Parliament Funkadelics, Clark Sisters, Jimmy McGriff, Otis Redding, Stanley Turrentine, Grant Green, James Cleveland, and many others. A funk master. Has written an interesting autobiography e-book available @ natejonesdrummer.com


Dylan Kollat - BM 2013. Dylan serves as the Director of the YSU Drumline and Dance Department Accompanist. Dylan earned the Bachelor of Music in Performance degree at Youngstown State University in 2013.  Originally from North Jackson, Ohio, Dylan graduated from Jackson-Milton High School in 2009.  While in high school Dylan performed with the Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and the Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra, serving as principal percussionist his sophomore year and principal timpanist his junior and senior years.  Dylan performed as a soloist with the orchestra after winning the Senior Concerto Competition that fall.  He also participated in the District V Honors Band, the Ohio Band Director’s Conference Honors Band at the University of Akron, and the Inter-County League Honors Band. At Dana, Dylan studied percussion with Dr. Glenn Schaft, Dr. Elizabeth Delamater and Patrick Wagner. Dylan performed with the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Winds, Concert Band, Opera, Percussion Ensemble, Marching Band, Dana Brass, and Jazz Ensembles I and II. He has served as section principal in the Wind Ensemble, principal timpanist in the Orchestra, and section leader in the Marching Pride.  In addition to his studies at Dana, Dylan has performed in the Capital Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps from Columbus and the Glassmen Drum and Bugle Corps from Toledo.  He is currently the drum line instructor/arranger for Champion High School and will be the YSU Marching Pride’s assistant drumline instructor/arranger this fall. Dylan maintains a private teaching studio with Motter’s Music and is employed as a drummer for the Warren First Assembly of God church in Warren. He was a member of the Youngstown Percussion Collective and can be heard playing marimba on their recording of the commissioned work “Forms of Things Unknown.”


Craig Krolicki - BME ca. 1995. Lives in Nashville, TN. Drum technician for Rascal Flatts. Originally from New Castle PA, started playing at age 15. He appreciated and played many styles of music from rock, blues, oldies, country, funk, R & B, jazz and classical. After high school, Craig attended the Dana School of Music in Youngstown State, OH, receiving a BA in Music Education. There he had the privilege to be a sub percussionist in the Youngstown Symphony for 3 years. In August 1997, Craig moved to Nashville, TN. Since, then he has had the privilege to work with artists such as Vern Gosdin, Tammy Cochran, Gail Davies, Jeff Carson, Hank III, Steve Hill, The Nashville Palace band and Craig’s favorite, Kellie Coffey. He is a drummer/percussionist/drum tech/teacher.


Roger Lewis - BME 2016. 


Adam Mamula - BM 1999. Adam is based in Nashville, TN. Worked with the P&O Australia cruise line based in Sydney, Australia playing with piano trios and show bands. He has previously worked with the Holland America cruise line.  As a cruise ship musician, Adam traveled to over 30 countries on 5 continents. Previous to working on ships, Adam played with regional symphony orchestras for more than 10 years. He has worked with the Wheeling Symphony, the Erie Philharmonic, and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic amongst many others. Adam's experience also includes work with the Youngstown based band, The Zou, having toured and performed in 13 states with the group in 2008. Adam also on occasion fronts a Leonard Cohen tribute band where he performs as the pianist and lead vocalist. 


Steve Marks - Studied one semester at YSU with Glenn Schaft. Freelance artist Hermitage, PA.


Chris Massey - BA, 2005. Freelance jazz drummer in New York City. www.chrismasseyjazz.com Chris has released several solo albums and toured nationally with his own band.


Dustin May - BM Jazz 2012.  Westerville, OH.  Dustin is adjunct percussion faculty at YSU and Kent State University and a freelance artist in Northeast Ohio. dustinmay614.wix.com/dustinmay


Fred Morris - BM 1973. Enamored with the Troopers since childhood, Fred Morris is now fulfilling his lifelong dream as Corps Director of the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps. Unable to march because his parents said the Corps was too far from home, Fred hasn’t missed a show since 1966. Fred is originally from Youngstown, OH, and attended Austintown Fitch High School in Austintown, OH. He graduated from Youngstown State University in 1973 with a degree in accounting and data processing. Fred lived in Hermitage, PA, and Buffalo, Chicago, running steel businesses. He has owned 3 businesses but has sold 2 and is now in Casper, WY. In 1966 Fred marched in Warren Jr. Military Band and Jr. Drum Corps, in the snare line with a senior corps, the Erie Thunderbirds from 1973-1976, and with the Reading Buccaneers from 1979-1980, winning DCA championships. And from 1986 to 1992, was busy as a bass drum and cymbal tech for Canton Bluecoats. In 1992, he gave up teaching to serve on the Bluecoats Board of Directors for 9 years, and in 2003, he came on board working with Troopers Promotions. He earned Volunteer of the Year in 2004, and was an Honorary Trooper for 11 years. In 2006, Fred was part of leading the largest Troopers corps in corps history. He has stabilized the Troopers finances, is responsible for assembling a world class team of musical instruction and administrative staff. In 2009, Fred was elected Director of The Year by his Corps Director peers and since their resurrection in 2007 Fred Morris has lead Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps to Finals for the first time in 23 years as Corps Director. When he isn’t on tour or planning the next tour, Fred spends time with his 2 children and 3 grandchildren who live in Hermitage, PA and Egg Harbor Township, NJ. 


Kelvin Newell - Studied at YSU 2009-11. Freelance artist based in Youngstown. Former drummer at Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH. Presently doing international touring.


Jerry Noble –While attending Berea High School, Jerry studied with Glenn Schaft for three years at the Baldwin-Wallace College Preparatory Program. Jerry is presently the Director of Percussion at Wright State University and is a member of the Dayton Philharmonic. He has also served as President of the Percussive Arts Society-Ohio Chapter, is founder/director of the Southwestern Ohio Percussion Camp, and has premiered new works with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and Cincinnati’s new music ensemble, Concert: Nova.

Mr. Noble has performed as timpanist and/or percussionist with the Cincinnati Symphony, Indianapolis Opera, Cincinnati Ballet, Alabama Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Columbus Symphony, Cleveland Pops, New Mexico Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Evansville Philharmonic, the USAF Band of Liberty in Boston, and the New World Symphony. Conductors and artists he has worked with include Paavo Jarvi, Eric Kunzel, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas, Jahja Ling, Ludovic Morlot, Janos Starker, and Sir James Galway. Jerry has held principal positions with the Owensboro Symphony, Columbus Philharmonic, the Indiana University Summer Festival Orchestra, and the USAF Band of Flight.

While a member of the USAF Band of Flight he performed over 1,500 concerts throughout the Midwest with the Concert Band, Brass Quintet, and Jazz Band; including performances for presidents, vice presidents, senators, military leaders, and heads of state. While in the Air Force Jerry was awarded two commendation medals, two achievement medals, “Band of Flight: Airman of the Year”, and “Band of Flight: Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year.” He has also toured the Caribbean as a drummer for Princess Cruises, served as percussion staff/arranger with the University of Cincinnati Bearcats Marching Band, and was a percussionist for Star of Indiana’s “Brass Theater” (predecessor to Blast!).

Mr. Noble is originally from Berea, Ohio and while in high school was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, studying with Tom Freer and he continued those studies through his undergrad. Jerry has also studied with Rusty Burge, Al Otte, Jim Culley, Glenn Schaft, and has had several lessons and masterclass performances with the late Cleveland Orchestra timpanist, Cloyd Duff. Degrees are from University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, Indiana University, and Cleveland State. gerald.noble@wright.edu


Matt North - Freelance artist in Nashville, TN. Previously a freelance artist in Los Angeles, CA. While in high school, Matt studied privately with Glenn Schaft in the 1980's in Champaign-Urbana and University of Illinois Jazz Camps. http://www.myspace.com/mattnorth


Moriah Placer - BM 2015. Freelance artist and drum circle facilitator based in NE Ohio.


Greg Parnell - BM 1995. A Vandergrift, Pennsylvania native, Greg Parnell spent many years on the road with the Glenn Miller Orchestra as drummer and road manager. Now living in Sanford, Florida with his wife Amy, he enjoys performing in a wide variety of settings including big bands, backing headliners, and small jazz groups.  He is also the Vice President of Glenn Miller Productions, Inc.

Greg has performed with The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, The Les Brown Orchestra, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, The Terry Myers Orchestra, Michael Andrew & Swingerhead, The Fat Tuesday Big Band, and The American Vintage Orchestra.  He has also backed headliners such as The Mills Brothers, The Four Aces, Kay Starr, John Davidson, Eartha Kitt, Bowzer, Della Reese, Jack Jones, The Four Freshmen, Smokey Joe’s Café, The Pied Pipers, Rita Moreno, Petula Clark and many others. Recently Greg, with the help of John Orsini, formed the Orlando Jazz Orchestra now in it’s fifth season at the Plaza Theatre in Orlando, FL.  


Kevin Rabold – BM, 2010. Performs with United States Army Band. Formerly freelance percussionist based in Columbus, Indiana and Drumline Instructor at Ball State University in Muncie, IN. Received the Master of Music in Performance from Indiana University in 2013. 


Corey Radford – Freelance drumset artist in New York City. Studied with Glenn Schaft at the University of Minnesota Duluth where he earned the BM in Jazz Studies. http://www.myspace.com/coreyradford


Eric D. Ratica - BME 2000. Currently is Director of Bands in the North Central Local School District (Norwayne High School and Creston Middle School) in Creston, Ohio. He has held this position since 2000.His current responsibilities include direction of the 5th, 6th, and 7th-8th grade bands at Creston Middle School. At Norwayne High School he is responsible for the direction of the “Bobcat Pride” Marching Band, the Concert Band and the Jazz Ensemble. Mr. Ratica’s additional teaching responsibilities include 5th grade general music at CMS as well as Music Theory and Music History at NHS. Under Ratica’s direction, the Norwayne High School Band has nearly doubled in size since the year 2000. The Norwayne High School Marching Band entered OMEA Marching Band Adjudicated Event for the first time in the school’s history and has been actively participating since 2002. Additionally, the concert band has earned “excellent” ratings at OMEA district adjudicated event consecutively since 2003, a feat not achieved at Norwayne since the 1970’s.

Mr. Ratica is a 1996 graduate of Willoughby South High School. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree cum laude in 2000 from Youngstown State University. In 2006, he earned a Master of Music Education Degree from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. His previous teaching experience includes service as percussion caption head at Crestwood High School from 1998-2000 and Canfield High School from 1999-2000.Mr. Ratica has also served as an instructor/consultant at Willoughby South High School, Painesville Riverside High School, and Kirtland High School.He is an Eagle Scout and his biography was selected to be printed in the seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh editions of “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.”Mr. Ratica resides in Creston with his wife, Leanne.


Randy Rodik - BME 1998. Teaches at Leetonia High School. Freelance percussion artist in northeast Ohio.


Seth Rogers - MMJ 2008. Seth is Instructor of Percussion at Denison University where he teaches theory classes, percussion, directs the Latin Jazz Percussion Ensemble, and the Balinese Gamelan Angklung. Seth received his Master of Music in Jazz Studies from Youngstown State University, where his graduate thesis addressed Tony Williams’ metric displacement techniques.


Nicholas Sainato - BMJ 2014, Freelance drumset artist, Nashville, TN. 


Troy Schaltenbrand - BME 2016. Based in Pittsburgh.


Sarah Sexton, BM 2010, BME 2012. Teaches in Colorado.


Suzanne Spiese, BME 2014 Kent State University. Studied at YSU 2004-08. Long Term Substitute TeacherLeighton Elementary School3rd and 4th grade elementary music; 5th grade beginning band.


Chris Steele - BM 1999. Chris Steele began playing drums on laundry hampers with magic markers at the age of four or five (he really doesn’t remember too much from that time). He does remember “The Tropics”, “Thumbs Up”, “Temporary No Parking” these were some of the names of his band made up of his older brothers and some friends. At the age of twelve, Chris was already playing live shows in his hometown of Butler, PA. His passion for rhythm only grew with time as he began a journey that would take him all over the world. His college career started in the town of Youngstown, OH where he studied with Glenn Schaft and finished his bachelor of music degree. He then moved to Los Angeles where his scholarship to USC allowed him to finish his Masters in jazz studies. Along with the course curriculum Chris also studied privately with, Ndugu Chancler, Peter Erskine, Jeff Hamilton, Zoro, Gregg Field, John Riley, and everyone else under the sun. Chris’s passion for jazz music allowed him to share the stage with Kenny Burrell, Conrad Herwig, Sean Jones, Bobby Shew, Jiggs Whigham, Alfonso Johnson, and Phil Woods. Chris also had the opportunity to perform a drum duet with legendary swing drummer Louie Bellson. A summer tour as the drummer for the Glenn Miller Orchestra followed by a tour with an R&B artist in China showed his passion for all styles of music. Cary Brothers had given Chris his first TV appearance on the Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn as he performed “Blue Eyes.” Behind the scenes you can hear Chris in the movie Dawn of the Dead and Four Brothers. In front of the camera you can see Chris as Jim Carey’s drummer in The Majestic. Chris has performed with a gambit of Pop, Rock, and Reggae artists that include Barry Manilow, Deborah Gibson, John Popper, David Foster, Rusted Root, Matisyahu, and The Wailers. Now Chris is enjoying touring and recording with Trevor Hall and Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra.


Brian Sweigart – MM 2008. Brian is currently Director of Eurhythmics and full-time professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Brian received his Masters Degree in Percussion Performance from Youngstown State University where he served as a graduate teaching assistant. He earned his Bachelors degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music in Dalcroze Eurhythmics and Percussion, and attended Interlochen Arts Academy in High School. He has taught Eurhythmics at many schools in Cleveland including the Cleveland Music School Settlement, the Cleveland Institute of Music, The Montessori School at Holy Rosary, and the Eleanor B. Rainey Memorial Institute. Brian’s teaching has taken him to Maine, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Kentucky where he has taught Eurhythmics to all ages. In addition to teaching, Brian performs as a percussionist in groups such as the Cleveland Orchestra, the Ohio Light Opera Orchestra, and the Percussion Plus Project.


Tetsuya Takeno - BM Jazz Studies 2007, MM Percussion 2011. He is currently a freelance percussionist in Minneapolis and PhD candidate in Composition at the University of Minnesota. Tetsuya served as percussion graduate assistant from 2008-10 at YSU. He toured with the Holland American cruise line during 2007-08. Tetsuya is from Kanagawa-Ken, Japan, near Tokyo. Tetsuya was commissioned by the Greenville Symphony, PA to write a work for their May 2010 pops concert series.


Zachary Taylor, BME 2009. Mr. Taylor is the Director of Bands at Coventry High School in Akron, Ohio. He earned a Bachelor of Music Education, Percussion Applied from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University in 2009, and a Masters in Music Performance from Kent State University in 2013. Prior to his current teaching position at Coventry High School, Mr. Taylor was the Band Director at Steubenville High School in Steubenville, Ohio and served on the instrumental music staff at Carrollton High School as percussion instructor.

At Coventry, Zachary teaches the Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Steel Drum Band, Jazz Band, “DaFunk’d” Soul/Funk Band, Percussion Ensemble and the Marching Band. Zachary has studied percussion with Dr. Glenn Schaft, Ted Rounds, Rob Ferguson and Ron Coulter. As a versatile performer, Zachary has performed with many organizations throughout northeast Ohio including: The Brass Band of the Western Reserve, Matrix Indoor Drum line, Heavenly Metal Steel Drum Band, Pantuner Harmonix Steel Band, Flash in the Pan Steel Drum Band and The Sounds of Sousa Concert Band. He is also a founding member of the "Somewhere in the Sun" steel drum duo with Mr. Tyler Husosky. Mr. Taylor is also an active steel band arranger and currently resides in Stow, Ohio with his wife Krista. 


Bryan Teeters, MM, 2014 -  At YSU Bryan was a member of the Youngstown Percussion Collective, has played in the percussion ensemble, 2nd jazz combo, and has been the principal percussionist of the wind ensemble and Dana Symphony Orchestra. He held a teaching assistantship, taught Percussion Methods class, and was the assistant director of the percussion ensemble in addition to being the assistant marching band director at Struthers High School and maintaining a private studio at The Drum Smith in Struthers, OH. He has also played on numerous recording sessions with the Youngstown Percussion Collective, YSU wind ensemble, and the Youngstown Scoring Stage. While earning his bachelor’s degree in music education with an emphasis in percussion he performed in, and musically directed many productions with the Clarion University Theater Department including: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Suessical the Musical, The Who’s Tommy, Cinderella, Annie, Once on This Island, High School Musical, Schoolhouse Rock Live, and Big River, as well as numerous others at the Cook Forest Sawmill Center for the Arts, Franklin Barrow Civic Theater, and many local high schools in western Pennsylvania. In addition to his extensive work with Clarion University of Pennsylvania’s Music and Theater Departments, Bryan has been a member of the Erie Jr. Philharmonic, performed nationally with a touring band, and performed with the Music School Festival Orchestra at the Chautauqua Institution. Teeters has been employed by the Clarion and Brookville Area School districts as the assistant band director where he has lead title-holding bands through parades in Clarion, PA and at Disney World in Orlando, FL. He has been commissioned to compose and/or arrange music for CUP’s dance department and show choir, Keystone Jr. Sr. High School, Clarion Area High School, Northern Cambria High School, and the Youngstown Scoring Stage. Bryan has also worked as a clinician and guest performer at the Chautauqua County Music Festival in Jamestown, New York. After working as a private instructor of percussion at Infinity Visual and Performing Arts Inc. located in Jamestown, NY (2010-2011), Bryan returned to Knox, PA to serve five local school districts as a full-time substitute teacher, before pursuing a master’s degree. At this time, he guest conducted and coached Keystone Jr./Sr. High School’s bands, choirs, and percussion ensemble. 


Ako Toma-Bennett - B.M. Performance 1999. Currently freelance artist in southeast Michigan and Director of Bands at Sand Creek High School. Awarded Charles Owen Scholarship at the University of Michigan and earned the Master of Music degree in performance. Performed with the Flint Symphony Orchestra, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, Warren Chamber Orchestra, Canton Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps, Winner YSU Concerto Competition, Toured United States as principal timpanist with the American Wind Symphony.


Michael C. Tompkins (b. 1985) is a freelance percussionist and composer from Columbiana, Ohio. He began his music career at age eight, starting with piano lessons and later throughout high school studied percussion and music theory. He went on to study percussion at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio under Dr. Glenn Schaft and worked in his spare time on several compositions. In 2003, Michael became the Director of Percussion at Warren Local High School in Vincent, Ohio - where he remains to this day. As the Percussion Director, he is responsible for percussion composition and instruction of the marching band, co-instructs the percussion ensemble and gives private lessons. For the past six years, Michael has taught and composed for several south east and central Ohio ensembles. He is currently studying Culinary Arts, his second passion, at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio - where he currently resides. He is also a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, & Publishers and the Society of Composers, Inc and the Percussive Arts Society.


Chris Trzcinski – is an active session drummer and educator on the Asian music scene. Having resided in Shanghai, China for 10 years, he has come to be know as one of the top call session drummers in Asian. He is best known for his ability to perform a wide variety of music, spanning from Rock, Pop, Jazz, Flamenco, and classical, which in turn makes him one of the busiest musicians in Asia. In recent years Chris has toured extensively with artists such as Wang Leehom, David Tao, J.J. Lin, Jam Hsiao, Yen J, and Ding Dang, and has had the honor of sharing the stage with great artists such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Laura Fygi, Kenny Burrell, Ira Sullivan, Buddy Morrow, Frankie Avalon, Sean Jones, Sa DingDing, Shunza, Hu Yan Bing, Li Quan, and Coco Zhao. He has also played with accomplished ensembles such as The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, The Cleveland Philharmonic, The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, and The JZ All-Star Big Band. Chris has toured extensively throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. He has performed in music festivals such as Montreal Jazz festival, Hamburg Reeperbahn Music Festival, Yokohama Jazz Festival, Shanghai International Jazz Festival, Beijing Jazz festival, Penang Jazz Festival, Taichung Jazz Festival, and Tri-C Festival.

Aside from live performance, Chris has worked as a session drummer appearing on the most highly rated TV shows in China such as, Chinese Idol, Sing my Song, DreamSTAR, Celebrity Battle, and The World is Listening. Some of the more recent recorded artist include: Wang Leehom “Free Show”, Sa DingDing “Live at Royal Albert Hall”, HuYanBin, Li Quan, Alec Haavik “Ye Shanghai”, Andy Hunter Quartet, Possicobilites “Dream Situation”, Lawrence Ku “Process”, Far East Quartet, and 24hrusa. Chris is also widely active with music education in China. He currently holds a teaching residence at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Beijing Contemporary School of music, and the Jz School. Chris began studying drums at the age of ten, and started his professional career at fourteen playing with local jazz musicians and various big bands in the Cleveland area. He then moved on to study music at the Dana School of Music where he developed his strong sensibility for music and art. After college Chris started performing and touring with numerous acts. Chris studied with Glenn Schaft at YSU for several years while pursuing his music performance degree. http://www.christrzcinski.com 


John Vitullo - BM 2016. Freelance drumset and vibraphone artist based in Youngstown, OH.


Patrick Wagner worked toward a Master of Music degree in 2005-07 and formerly Adjunct Faculty at Youngstown State University 2007-16, where he served as a percussion/piano staff accompanist for the Department of Dance and taught applied dance accompaniment lessons in the Percussion Department. He is also proud to serve as the Percussion instructor for Ellet High School and Hyre Middle School. Patrick started his music career upon graduation from Cuyahoga Falls High School in 1990, touring nationally and internationally with the United States Marine Corps, U.S. Army, and Ohio National Guard Bands. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance from The University of Akron, and pursued graduate studies at Youngstown State University, where he served as a graduate assistant. Mr. Wagner has enjoyed a successful and diverse career performing with such groups as 'The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra', 'The Four Tops', and 'The Akron Symphony'. He has also enjoyed being a featured performer at PASIC. As a dance musician, Mr. Wagner has accompanied over one hundred dance instructors and has performed at numerous American Collegiate and Professional Dance Festivals. He also served as the staff percussionist and music contractor for The Carousel Dinner Theater. 


Justin Watt – M.M. 2005. Currently, Justin resides in Asheville, NC where he is involved in various music projects. He is the drummer for the Asheville Jazz Orchestra (a professional big band), Deep River (a country vocal group) and the Like Mind Trio (an eclectic jazz trio that features various original compositions). He has also recently been active in various regional theatre groups including the Asheville Community Theatre and the Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre. He is faculty at Furman University and instructor at the Asheville Music School, an independently owned school of music that offers lessons on all major instruments. http://www.ashevillemusic.org/Private_Music_Lessons/Justin-Drum-Lessons.html Justin Watt has received percussion performance degrees from two esteemed universities in northeastern Ohio. In 2002 he obtained a Bachelor’s of Music Degree from the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University and in 2005 a Master’s of Music Degree from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University.He also spent the Fall 2002 semester at Cleveland State University doing post-graduate work.His principal teachers include Ted Rounds (KSU), Dr. Glenn Schaft (YSU), Tom Freer (Cleveland Orchestra), and Mark Gonder (Cleveland Jazz Orchestra), among others. Much of Justin’s work has been in the area of free-lancing. Most of this has been in the areas of jazz/big-band, pop/rock, theatrical productions and the classical idiom. He most recently finished a 2 ½ year stint with the Glenn Miller Orchestra where he was able to tour the U.S., Japan and Canada extensively. He has also been lucky to perform with such notable performers as Jim McNeely, Michael Burritt, comedian Jack Carter, Larry O’Brien, The Four Aces, Dolores Parker Morgan, The Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Julia Rich, Joey De Francesco, Nick Hilscher, Bobby Shew and Jimmy Heath.


Craig Yarger - lives in New Jersey. Formerly worked for Malletech Inc.


Michael Yonchak - BME 2000, MM, Conducting 2003. Mike is currently Director of Bands and Percussion at Otterbein University in Westerville, OH. myonchak@otterbein.edu

A native of Ohio, Michael grew up near Youngstown, and graduated from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University (with Honors) holding a Bachelor of Music in Education (percussion emphasis) and a Master's degree in Instrumental Conducting. He earned the Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) in Wind Conducting from the University of Kentucky in 2008 where he was actively involved in all aspects of the Kentucky Bands program. He wrote his dissertation on the avant-garde compositions of Frank Zappa. In collaboration with the late composer's wife, Gail, this document will become the first of its kind in providing a serious academic study on the structure, techniques, and performance considerations to three separate works for wind ensemble by Zappa. This project served as a catalyst for a recent presentation at the Southern Division of CBDNA on the music of Frank Zappa, as well as a research article financed by a research grant awarded through the National Band Association. Prior to his time in Kentucky, Michael taught for five and a half years in the public schools of northeast Ohio.

Among his numerous accomplishments, Michael was a two-time national finalist for a conductor/officer commission in the Air Force Bands program, served as the music director and conductor for the inaugural 2006 season of the Buhl Park Community Concert Band of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, acted simultaneously as a performer and percussion caption head for the Allegheny Nightstorm Drum and Bugle Corps (DCA) and has recently been published in the book Teaching Music Through Performance in Beginning Band, Volume 2. He also holds memberships in the National Band Association, CBDNA, the College Music Society, the Conductors Guild, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (honorary) and Tau Beta Sigma (honorary).


Bob Young – BME 2012. Bob is currently a freelance percussionist in the Youngstown area. While at YSU, Bob served as president of the Youngstown Percussion Collective. During that time, YPC successfully commissioned the writing and recording of “Forms of Things Unknown,” a 12-movement piece for percussion ensemble by Dave Morgan. Bob has actively pursued the music scene in the Youngstown and Akron/Kent area, playing and touring with Youngstown’s Sam Goodwill on a regular basis, performing in nine states in 2013. He has also performed numerous times with Akron’s Lazy Susan and We Are Public Radio, as well as local acts Penguins in Bondage: The Frank Zappa Ensemble (YSU affiliated) and Signature Event regularly over the past year. Bob also currently works with the Struthers High School Drumline and maintains a studio of percussion students at Motter's Music in Canfield, OH.


Eric Zalenski - BME 2014. Based in Bloomingdale, OH. Assistant Band Director at Harrison Hills City School district. Formerly at Steubenville Catholic Central High School.

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