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PE - 10/24/18 - BIAA

Youngstown State University

Percussion Ensemble

Glenn Schaft - Director


24 October 2018

Butler Institute of American Art


Free Admission


PERCUSSION I-V (1935)                                                   Johanna Magdalena Beyer (1888-1944)


Another Norther (1976)                                                              Charles Amirkhanian (b. 1945)


Looking into a faded life burning out. (2007-2017)                              Ron Coulter (b. 1978)

      World Premiere



PERCUSSION I-V. Johanna Magdalena Beyer (1888-1944) was a German-born composer and pianist considered one of the Ultra-Modernists of early 20th Century American music. Beyer was an integral composer and networker in the development of percussion music in Western canon, alongside Henry Cowell, John Cage, Lou Harrison, William Russell, and others.

         For decades the fourth movement of PERCUSSION has been considered a complete, free-standing composition titled IV, when in fact it is a single movement from this larger five-movement work. IV was Beyer's only published work during her lifetime appearing in Henry Cowell's 1936 New Music Orchestra Series, Collection No. 18. PERCUSSION is the first known percussion composition to use unspecified instrumentation, thus allowing endless reinvention of the work.  – Ron Coulter and Glenn Schaft


Charles Amirkhanian was born in Fresno in 1945 and resides in El Cerrito, CA. He is a composer, percussionist, and poet known for his text-sound compositions that employ speech sounds in rhythmic patterns that resemble percussion music, and for his electroacoustic essays incorporating acoustic ambient sounds alongside more traditional musical tones that create disjunct, trance-like dreamscapes.

            In addition to programming and directing the Other Minds Festival since 1993, Amirkhanian has led the organization in producing many additional concerts devoted to the work of the American experimental tradition (Cage, Cowell, Rudhyar, Nancarrow, Hovhaness, Antheil and others), establishing a record label, a weekly radio program, and commissioning new work annually from composers around the world. – Glenn Schaft and




“Looking into a faded life burning out” took eleven years to complete; it was started in 2007 (Carbondale, IL) and completed in 2017 (Casper, WY), sometimes going untouched for a year or more. It is a quartet for crotales, vibraphone, marimba, and bass marimba, with options for doubling certain parts up to a total of nine performers. The work juxtaposes the two disparate ideas of rigid constraint (meter, rhythm, pitch, repetition, etc.) and pliable freedom (obscuring meter/rhythm/pitch, stream-of-consciousness-like phrasing, etc.).  Techniques of note include: use of the vibraphone’s variable motor speed (amplitude modulation), bowing of crotales, and muted notes in the bass marimba. – Ron Coulter


Ron Coulter is Instructor of Percussion, Improvisation, and World Musics at Casper College in Casper Wyoming and has presented at more than 100 universities internationally.

            As a performer, he has toured internationally appearing in 49 U.S. states, Europe, Australia, Canada, and Japan.  He has performed with such artists as the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Four Aces, Al Martino, New Arts Jazztet, Tatsuya Nakatani, Michael Zerang, Chris Corsano, James Falzone, Bolokada Condé, Linux Laptop Orchestra, Robert Van Sice, Lucy Shelton, Sandy Duncan, Youngstown Percussion Collective, and Tone Road Ramblers, among others.

            Ron has presented at numerous conferences including: ISIM, PASIC, NIME, LiWoLi, BMC-3, JEN, Futurisms, Blurred Edges, Soundlines, RadiaLx, Athena Festival,, New Music Circle, Montreal Jazz Festival, and more.  Other performance credits include the Youngstown Symphony, Paducah Symphony, Altgeld Chamber Players, Warren Philharmonic, Music from China, and Chicago Chamber Orchestra.

            Interests in noise, intermedia, interdisciplinary collaboration, and non-idiomatic improvisation have led to organizing Fluxconcerts and collaborative projects with artists specializing in performance art, video, and spoken word.  Ron is co-founder of the Percussion Art Ensemble, duende entendre, Marble Hammer, and founder of the Southern Illinois Improvisation Series and Wyoming Experimental Sound Series.  As a composer, Ron has created more than 340 works for various media.

            Originally from Hermitage, Pennsylvania, Ron Coulter (b. 1978) was raised on a dairy farm and earned M.M. and B.M. degrees in Percussion Performance from Youngstown State University.  His principle teachers include Glenn Schaft, Tony Leonardi, Feza Zweifel, Fred Morris, Erica Azim, Caution Shonhai, Bolokada Condé, and Nina DeCiancio.


YSU Percussion Ensemble Personnel

            Nathaniel Adams                      Petersburg, OH              

            Terence Boggs                          Warren, OH                    

            Michael Daniels                        Fostoria, OH                           

            Owen Davis                                Vienna, OH                    

            Stephen Dorbish                       Canfield, OH                  

            Joel Gillespie                             East Liverpool, OH        

            Jo’El Harrison                            Farrell, PA,                      

            Brandon Maffitt                        Warren, OH,                  

            Evan McCreary                          Poland, OH,                    

            Anthony Tresky                        Pittsburgh, PA


Thanks! Dr. Glenn Schaft and the YSU Percussion Studio would like to thank Avedis Zildjian cymbal company, Remo Inc. drumheads and world percussion, Innovative Percussion Inc., sticks and mallets, and Black Swamp Percussion for their product and artist support.

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