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PE - 3/2/16 Butler Institute of American Art

Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble

Ed Davis & Dustin May, Directors

2 March 2016

Butler Institute of American Art, 12:15PM




Sharpened Stick (1999)                                                      Brett Dietz (b.1972)


Sharpened Stick is a Native American war song and dance that is in the "fish-step" style. It is said that the popular 1920's dance craze the "Charleston" was derived from this dance. At certain points of the composition, the performers shout "Yo-Ho"- In Native American music, this is sounded by the 'head singer' and signifies a change of direction in the music as well as a change in the direction of the dance.

Notes by Brett Dietz



Quartet in C minor (2015)                                                  Tommy Starr (b.1995)

*World Premiere


Establishing a simple main theme at the beginning, Quartet in C Minor journeys through variations of textures and counter lines.  While this main melodic idea is passed through all four players, we continually revisit that recognizable theme. 

While a novel concept in theory, with the talent of four gifted musicians, such a simple little tune can stretch into varieties of musical interpretations.  This is their story!

Notes by Tommy Starr





Ricoam                                                                                    Moacir Santos (1926-2006)

Arr. Ed Davis (b.1981)


Moacir Santos, born to a poor family in Pernambuco (northeastern Brazil) was regarded as a walking encyclopedia in the realm of Brazilian instrumental music. Without hesitation, artists like João Donato, Dori Caymmi, Paulo Moura and Sérgio Mendes will testify to his brilliance. The late Brazilian guitar ace Baden Powell was Moacir's pupil, and revered his master on the song "Samba da Benção." And the President of Brazil has awarded Santos the medal of Rio Branco's order. 


Desiring (2011)                                                                    David Morgan                       

Do I Dare Eat a Peach? (2011)


Dr. David Morgan, Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at Youngstown State University, composed both of these pieces as a part of a twelve-movement suite, “Forms of Things Unknown,” commissioned by the Youngstown Percussion Collective in 2011. Every movement from this work was inspired by a quote or piece of literature:



            I dig my toes into the sand

The ocean looks like a thousand diamonds

Strewn across a blue blanket

I lean against the wind

Pretend that I am weightless

And in this moment I am happy

I wish you were here


Do I Dare Eat a Peach?

            I grow old…I grow old…

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.


Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare eat a peach?




Peaches En Regalia                                                               Frank Zappa (1940-1993)

                                                            Arr. Davis/Morgan


Guest performer - Eric Finkelstein - bass


Peaches en Regalia is one of Zappa’s most well known works. Featured as the opening track on Zappa’s album, “Hot Rats,Peaches combines Zappa’s eccentric compositional approach, quirky instrumentation, and complex arrangement.





Noah Au, Canfield, OH

Edward Butcher, Salem, OH

Zachary Connolly, Boardman, OH  

Levi Curry, Wexford, PA

Jesse DeLorenzo, Wampum, PA  

Anthony Gill, Vienna, OH

Joel Gillespie, East Liverpool, OH

Aaron Graneto, Canfield, OH

Sean Guerrieri, Struthers, OH

Andy Hacker, Hubbard, OH

Ryan Jones, Youngstown, OH

Evan McCreary, Poland, OH

Nathan Negro, Wooster, OH

Tracy Rusk, Brookfield, OH

Lennon Sackela, Canfield, OH

Tommy Starr, Pittsburgh, PA

Anthony Tresky, Pittsburgh, PA

John Guido Vitullo, Austintown, OH



Director Bios

Ed Davis, MM

Ed is currently an adjunct percussion faculty at YSU and freelance musician and educator residing in Youngstown, Ohio.  He is also currently employed by SMARTS (Students Motivated by the ARTS) as a drum circle facilitator and coordinator of SMARTS Beats (drum based learning for students with cognitive disabilities), a private music teacher at Motter’s Music in Canfield, OH and maintains a very active performing and recording schedule throughout the region. Ed has also served as a visiting professor and taught world percussion at Capital University in Columbus, OH in 2012-13.

Ed graduated from Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music in 2012 with a Masters degree in Percussion Performance. While at YSU, Ed was a featured performer on the Youngstown Percussion Collective’s recording of “Forms of Things Unknown,” a twelve-movement work for percussion ensemble by composer Dave Morgan. Since living in Youngstown, Ed has had the opportunity to perform with artists such as Angela Perley & the Howlin’ Moons, Jordan DePaul, Special Blend, Brad Wagner, Frank Castellano, Todd Cutshaw, Costley Ct., Penguins in Bondage: the YSU Frank Zappa Ensemble, Glenn Schaft, Dave Morgan, Tom Scott and the NO EXIT New Music Ensemble.

Originally from West Liberty, OH, Ed attended the Capital University Conservatory of Music in Columbus, OH and as a student of Bob Breithaupt, Jim Ed Cobbs, Eric Paton, and Nathan Anders he earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Media degree. 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 2009 release, “These Magnificent Miles” (Fanatic/Capitol Music Group). 


Dustin May, BM

Originally from Westerville, Ohio, Dustin had the privilege of studying drum set with Jim Curlis and Jim Rupp. Dustin’s freelance beginnings sprouted here, at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Career Center for Music and as a member of the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra. These two organizations allowed him to develop his craft while performing at many Columbus area venues such as the Southern Theatre, State House, Columbus Jazz and Rib Festival and many more.

In 2010 Dustin was selected by, the now Vice President of Education at the Lincoln Center, Todd Stoll, to perform the repertoire of Duke Ellington with the Ohio Youth Jazz Orchestra at the Parma Jazz Festival in Parma, Italy. The group had the pleasure of performing alongside some of their musical heroes including Joe Locke, Dianne Reeves, Ken Peplowski, Bucky Pizzarelli, Marcus Roberts, The Woody Herman Orchestra, Wes Anderson and Kurt Rosenwinkel.

Dustin received his degree in Jazz Studies from Youngstown State University in December of 2012. There he studied percussion with Dr. Glenn Schaft, Nathan Douds and Patrick Wagner. While he was a student at the Dana School of Music, Dustin had the pleasure of performing with the Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Youngstown Percussion Collective Touring Group, Youngstown Jazz Collective, Jazz Ensemble I and several Jazz Combos. These ensembles allowed Dustin to perform with wonderful colleagues and musical mentors such as Ralph Lalama, Rufus Reid, Dave Morgan, Kent Engelhardt, Nathan Douds and many more. Dustin can be heard on the Youngstown Percussion Collective’s recording Forms of Things Unknown and the Youngstown Jazz Collective’s recording Absent Dreamers.

Dustin’s active freelance career has allowed him to play with many great artists such as Teddy Pantelas, Jeff Grubbs, Wilbur Krebs, Ernie Riggins, Pat Crossley, Frank Cunimondo, Kip Reed, Bobby Selvaggio, Ashley Summers, Tom Scott, Brad Wagner, Chris Anderson, Tony Spicer, Theron Brown, Sam Blakeslee, Chris Coles, Dave Morgan, Aidan Plank and many more.

This coming year Dustin is looking forward to recording with the Sam Blakeslee Large Ensemble and Bobby Selvaggio’s Transcendental Orchestra.

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