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PE - 3/14/18 Spotlight

Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble

Dr. Glenn Schaft - Director


Special Guests

Champion High School Percussion Ensemble

Tyler Husosky-Director


Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra Percussion Ensemble

Tommy Starr - Director


3/14/18, Bliss Hall–Spotlight Theater, 7:30PM


Away Without Leave (2002)                                                   Bob Becker (b. 1947)

Champion High School Percussion Ensemble

Tyler Husosky-Director

Nick Costianes, Maggie Dunlap, Michael Fassnacht,

Tyler Hoolihan, George Katradis

Away Without Leave is based on traditional military drum beats and Steve Gadd's military Samba, "Duke's Lullaby," and includes improvisation throughout.


Virginia Tate (1999)                                              Paul Smadbeck (b. 1955)

Anthony Tresky - marimba


Whoa, Nellie (2017)                                                               Tommy Starr (b. 1995)

Tommy Starr - marimba


4/4 for Four (1972)                                                                Anthony Cirone (b. 1941)

Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra Percussion Ensemble

Tommy Starr - Director

Owen Davis, Stephen Dorbish, Allison Morris , Drew Scalzo


Ghost Garden (2015)                                                             Adam Hopper (b. 1985)

Tracey Rusk - marimba


Distant Waves (2017)                                                            Joel Gillespie (b. 1997)

Joel Gillespie & Evan McCreary - Marimba, Thomas Starr - Percussion


Escape: Sextet for Triangle (2014)                                                    Drew Worden (b. 1988)

This work was written for "Im-Pulse Image Percussion" at the Eastman School of Music. "Im-Pulse Image Percussion" features the Eastman Percussion Ensemble and Professor of Percussion Michael Burritt performing new works to accompany short animated features produced by filmmaker Mary Ellen Bute in the 1930's and new films created by Rochester-based filmmaker Stephanie Maxwel. The music may be performed with or without film.


Ritual Music: Variations on the Numbers 2 and 4 (2006)                David Skidmore (b. 1982)

Ritual Music was written for the Chicago dance company Raizel Performances and was premiered in 2005. As the title suggests, I used the numbers two and four to bring order to the primeval timbres and violent counterpoint of the piece. The pitches in the marimba, the rhythmic motifs, and the structure of the phrases were all determined numerically. As such, a friction is created between the mechanical simplicity of the structural elements and the abandon with which the instruments shout, shriek, groan, and wail. The ritual is tightly controlled with respect to its numeric foundations, yet it is also an incantation of things far more frantic and powerful. Thus, the piece can act as a sort of "overture" for percussion. Notes by David Skidmore.




Ragtime Selections               George Hamilton Green (1893-1970), Arr. Bob Becker (b.1947)

            Log Cabin Blues (1924) featuring Anthony Tresky                                                                

            Spanish Waltz (1924) featuring Tommy Starr

            Chromatic Fox-Trot (1924) featuring Tracey Rusk                                                                

            The Ragtime Robin (1924) featuring Brandon Maffitt                                                          

            Xylophonia (1925) featuring Joel Gillespie                            Joe Green (1892-1939)

                                                                                                                Arr. Bob Becker


Ragtime Music - notes by Bob Becker

            During the last twenty years of the 19th century, a revolutionary method of playing popular music emerged in the United States - a style of creative, syncopated transformation and embellishment of a melody. Essentially an Afro-American phenomenon, the style was crystallized by Black pianists into a genuinely classical compositional form called the “Rag”, a word probably derived from vernacular descriptions of the highly syncopated melodic lines as “ragged”. These melodies were set against a steady, march-like bass pattern played by the pianist’s left hand.

            After 1915 the rag began to be transformed, and its infectious syncopation was applied to many types of popular and some classical music. Stravinsky’s “Ragtime for Eleven Instruments” and Debussy’s “Golliwog’s Cakewalk” are examples. The term “ragtime” came to refer to all music that used the characteristic four-against-three syncopation of the earlier piano rags. By 1920 a type of ragtime became popular along with a new dance called the fox-trot. Known as “novelty ragtime”, this music was highly technical, programmatic, and speedier than previous rag music, and it was a perfect vehicle for an instrument which had recently been engineered to a high standard of quality by manufacturers in the Chicago area - the xylophone.

During the 1920’s the xylophone as a solo instrument reached a peak in popularity. Xylophone soloists appeared with piano accompaniment, in dance orchestras and concert bands, and were heard regularly on radio broadcasts and phonograph records. George Hamilton Green, Sammy Herman, and Harry Breuer, the best-known xylophonists of this era, won critical acclaim as well as tremendous public esteem. All were great artists, but perhaps the most important was George Green, who, until his retirement in 1940, reigned supreme among xylophonists. He was a great technical innovator, as well as a prolific composer, and hence played a major role in the creation of an extensive solo literature for the xylophone. This body of music came to include transcriptions of standard overtures, Hungarian rhapsodies, violin concertos and concert piano selections, as well as original compositions for the xylophone in the form of medleys, rags, and novelty dance music. 

            This music has been arranged by Bob Becker a member of the renowned Canadian percussion group Nexus. These arrangements are scored for xylophone soloist, four marimbists, and a potpourri of percussive accents.


2+1 (2013)                                                                                              Ivan Trevino (b. 1983)

Evan McCreary & Tommy Starr - marimba

There are many percussionists around the world who only have access to one marimba (like me!). I decided to write a piece that would allow two marimbists to play a duet utilizing one marimba. While 2+1 simplifies instrument needs, it creates a challenging experience for the performers, who have to maneuver around the instrument without getting in each other's way. In addition, the piece is written so that the players face each other. At the time I composed it, I was listening to Bon Iver's self-titled release and although the rhythmic language in 2+1 is different from the band's album, the harmonic language shares similar qualities. The piece is dedicated to my wife Amanda. We recently rescued a puppy named Sadie, the first "addition" to our family; hence the name 2+1. Notes by Ivan Trevino.


Overkill (2014)                                                                                           Andy Harnsberger (b. 1967)

Overkill was premiered in 2015 by the Lee University Percussion Ensemble, in Cleveland, Tennessee. The piece is based upon a single "cell," heard as the opening statement, which is manipulated and varied throughout the piece. Classic rock fans will recognize the main rhythmic theme, which is played over and over, hence the title of the work. Notes by the composer.


YSU Percussion Ensemble:

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


Notable YSU Percussion Ensemble performances include the Percussive Arts Society Ohio Chapter Days of Percussion at Capital University, Ohio Northern University, Youngstown State University and numerous OMEA Professional Development Conferences in Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. An important 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 composer commissions with Jeffrey Matter and Dave Morgan; featuring Glenn Schaft as soloist on Morgan's "Reactions for Drumset and Wind Ensemble" with the YSU Wind Ensemble, Dr. Stephen Gage-director. 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 tour-de-force suite by YSU professor of jazz studies, bass, and composition, Dr. Dave Morgan.


Tyler Husosky is currently in his fifth year as Director of Bands for the Champion Local School District. He graduated from Youngstown State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.  Mr. Husosky is also the Percussion Advisor and Assistant Director of the Stambaugh Youth Concert Band and the Salem Quaker City Community Band. Mr. Husosky is also active in the Ohio Music Education Association where he serves as site chair for both OMEA District 5 Junior High, and High School Large Group Adjudicated Events, Co-Chair of the District 5 Fall Conference.  He is also an Adjudicator for OMEA and is the current District 5 President-Elect.  Tyler is also a member of the National Band Association, is a freelance percussionist in the Youngstown-Warren area, and a frequent performer with the W.D. Packard Concert Band, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, Salem Quaker City Community Band, Lowellville Mt. Carmel Band, and the Youngstown Symphony.


The community, administration, and Band Boosters of Champion, Ohio are very proud of the success the High School and Middle School bands have earned at various musical events and competitions over the years. The high school Concert and Symphonic Bands consistently participate in OMEA Large Group Adjudicated events, and have received 35 State Superior ratings, and are very proud of the tradition that has been established over the years. Over the past 40 years, the band has traveled to Germany, Mexico, and Canada, and numerous destinations in the United States such as Nashville, Orlando, New Orleans, Washington D.C. The “Marching Thunder” also performed at area Band Nights, Youngstown State University football games, and the Ohio State University Buckeye Band Invitational. Champion Band members annually participate at OMEA Solo and Ensemble Competition, and consistently receive numerous superior ratings at all class levels. Students in the band program participate in the OMEA District 5 Honors Band, Henry H. Stambaugh Youth Concert Band, Youngstown Youth Symphony, Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony, and area Community Bands. 


Thanks to Avedis Zildjian Co. (cymbals), Remo Inc. (drumheads and world percussion), Innovative Percussion Inc. (sticks and mallets), and Black Swamp Percussion (accessory percussion) for their generous product and artist support.


Audio Recordings $5 each - proceeds benefit the Youngstown Percussion Collective

            Dark Wood - chamber music featuring six premiere recordings and four commissioned works recorded by the Youngstown Percussion Collective and Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble, Glenn Schaft performer and Executive Producer.

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



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