google-site-verification: google21591887d024d2e9.html google-site-verification: google21591887d024d2e9.html

PE - 4/1/15 Spotlight Theater

Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble 

Dr. Glenn Schaft, Director 

1 April 2015 

Spotlight Theater, Bliss Hall, 8:00 PM



Scratch (2008)                                                                         Eugene Novotney (b.1960)

            I. Theme

      II. Cage

      III. Dos-Tres

      IV. Mess(age)

            V. Paganini


A Palimpsest (2014)                                                                 Dan Trueman (b. 1969)

For Alto Saxophone and Percussion Ensemble

Wilson Poffenberger - Alto Saxophone

Spencer Reed - Digital Prepared Piano


Common Corps            (2015)                                                  Youngstown Percussion Collective

World Premiere


Dark Wood (2003)                                                                    Dr. David Morgan (b. 1957)



The Gilded Cage (1998)                                                                      Susan Powell


Omphalo Centric Lecture (1985)                                             Nigel Westlake (b.1958)


Kpatsa                                                                                      Trad. Ghanain

                                                                                                Arr. Cory Grant



Eugene Novotney’s Scratch features four players playing scrapers or guiros. Eugene Novotney was raised in Mentor Ohio and experienced jazz, classical, and symphonic repertoire as a young child but soon became heavily influenced by Motown and the sound of rock & roll. A graduate of the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, he chose to continued his studies at the University of Illinois where earned the Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts. Eugene is Professor and Director of Percussion Studies at Humbolt State University in Arcata California. Notes by Glenn Schaft 

A Palimpsest was commissioned by the International Saxophone Symposium and Competition (ISSAC) and Columbus State University. The piece requires the saxophonist to use“unconventional” techniques such as semitones, pitch bends, slap tongues, and the altissimo (high) register to create a unique soundscape. The digital prepared piano created by Dan Trueman adds another color to the spectrum and utilizes microtonality.

            Wilson Poffenberger is a native of Hagerstown, Maryland and attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelors degree in Music Education. While at IUP, Wilson was an active member of the Marching Band, Symphony Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Ensemble, Crimson Combo and various Saxophone Chamber groups. While a member of the IUP saxophone studio Wilson was invited to perform with various chamber groups at the 2010, 2012, and 2013 International Navy Saxophone Symposium in Fairfax, VA as well as the 2010 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Conference in Pittsburgh, PA. Wilson has also had the privilege to travel and record with IUP’s well known Wind Ensemble under the direction of Jack Stamp. He recorded multiple CDs with the IUP Wind Ensembles including “Radiant Joy”. Wilson also recorded with the Jazz Ensemble and can heard on their latest CD “Back For More” as featured soloist on two different tracks.

            Wilson is currently pursuing a masters degree in saxophone performance at YSU and is a graduate assistant in the jazz department and saxophone studio. Wilson has held principal positions in the YSU Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble 1, Dana Symphony Orchestra and Dana Saxophone Quartet. Recently Wilson toured with the YSU Wind Ensemble ending in a performance at the 2015 Ohio Music Educators Conference. As a concert soloist Wilson was a semi-finalist in the 2013 Delta Omicron Solo Competition, a finalist in the 2013 Butler Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, semi-finalist in the 2014 North American Saxophone Alliance Collegiate Solo Competition, a chosen competitor in the 2014 International Saxophone Symposium and Competition, and winner of the 2014 Dana Young Artist competition. This summer, Wilson will attend the Université Européenne de Saxophone in Gap, France where he will study intensively with some of the world’s best classical saxophonists. Wilson’s teachers include, Keith Young, James Umble, and Kent Engelhardt. Notes by Wilson Poffenberger

Dark Wood for Four Marimbas is an attempt to fuse the harmony of Bill Evans, the counterpoint of Johannes Brahms, and the rhythms of South America. The overall form is ABA with a short coda. The composition requires performers with the ability to simultaneously maintain a solid groove and play lyrically. Notes by David Morgan and Glenn Schaft.

The Gilded Cage was written in 1998 for the Northwestern University Doctoral Percussion Quartet’s European appearances in Wurtzburg, Germany and at the RhythmSticks Percussion Festival in London, England. The title is derived from two sources: the 19th century popular song The Girl in the Gilded Cage and the 20th century percussion quartet Third Construction by John Cage. There are numerous influences from Cage’s important piece, including an early quote of the opening theme, here divided between the four performers and played on tom-toms. The “cage” theme is further exhibited in the way the performers create a constantly evolving visual cage with their sticks. Notes by Susan Powell

Omphalo Centric Lecture was composed in 1985 for the Synergy percussion group of Australia. This marimba quartet makes extensive use of polymeter or several rhythmic time structures occurring simultaneously. That device, coupled with complex but accessible melodic activity and strong rhythmic grooves, propel the piece. Notes by Glenn Schaft 

Kpatsa is traditional music from the West African nation of Ghana. The music has deep roots embedded in the mythological culture of the Ga people. According to legend, hunters learned the music by coming upon dwarfs and watching and absorbing the ritual. The hunters concealed themselves through magic so as not be discovered by the dwarfs. The music and dance was brought back to the villages and shared by the hunters.

    According to legend, dwarfs have uneven legs, which would cause an uneven stride. This is influence can be seen in the dances that accompany the Kpatsa rhythms. Many of these dances have uneven patterns with the feet. The rhythms have a strong weight placed on every other macro beat, or beats one and three in a measure of western common time. In the modern world, Kpatsa is still a big part of the Ghanaian culture. Ghana's main export is undoubtedly its music. Kpatsa has become a mainstay in educational tools used by genuine African artists to teach African music and musical concepts. Notes by Cory Grant



Charles Battaglia, Warren, OH                         Edward Butcher, Salem, OH

Zachary Connolly, Boardman, OH       Jesse DeLorenzo, Wampum, PA 

Sean Guerrieri, Struthers, OH              Evan Gottschalk, East Palestine, OH

Aaron Graneto, Canfield, OH               Cory Grant, Victor, NY

Nathan Negro, Wooster, OH                 Moriah Placer, Girard, OH  

Damon Poole, Mayfield Hts., OH         Tommy Starr, Pittsburgh, PA

John Guido Vitullo, Austintown, OH


SPECIAL THANKS: Avedis Zildjian Cymbal Co., Remo Inc, Innovative Inc., and Black Swamp Percussion for their support

    ADA Compliance                                                                                                          Glenn Schaft © 2008-2015