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PE - 4/6/16 Spotlight Theater


Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble

Ed Davis & Dustin May, Directors

6 April 2016

Spotlight Theater, 8PM

Featured Guests: Youngstown State Youth Orchestra Percussion Ensemble

Tommy Star, Director



Hoo-Daiko (2001)                                                                           Robert Damm (b. 1964)

*YSYO Percussion Ensemble


Hoo-Daiko by Robert J. Damm is a percussion sextet that was inspired by traditional Japanese Taiko drumming. This piece is based on typical rhythm patterns found in the Matsuri (folk festivals), in which Taiko plays a prominent role.

Taiko drummers utilize many techniques that contribute to their powerful sound and also provide an impressive visual element of choreographed movement. For examples of this traditional style of playing, see a performance by Japanese taiko masters, Kodo or New York-based taiko ensemble, Soh Daiko. Notes by Robert Damm.



Universal Dance (2015)                                                                  David Morgan

The myriad ways of grouping and feeling a rhythmic cycle of twelve beats underpins an incredible diversity of musical genres and styles, from traditional African and Indian music, through blues, jazz, and progressive rock, and contemporary classical music. At the most elemental level, twelve can be grouped as four groups of three beats or three groups of four beats. It may be felt as two groups of six beats or six groups of two beats. Assymetrical groupings including 7+5 and 5+7 are also possibilities.  We can then superimpose these subdivisions to create a sense of polymeter. “The Universal Dance”, inspired by Yoruban drumming, explores some of these possibilities.  The piece begins by superimposing four against three before shifting to other grouping options. The relatively simple folk-like melodic and harmonic material allows the parameter of rhythm to stay in the foreground.  A successful performance will make the audience want to join the dance!


“The Universal Dance” is the fourth movement of “Towards A New Day”, originally composed for YSU faculty members Alice Wang (clarinet), Joseph Kromholz (violin), and Cicilia Yudha (piano) in July 2015. I subsequently rethought and arranged the piece for the Slippery Rock University jazz ensemble. Dustin May played drums on a reading of this version by the Sam Blakeslee Big Band and asked me to consider arranging it for the YSU Percussion Ensemble. This is the first performance of this new arrangement. Notes by David Morgan



Jam Box: Cajon Trio (for Nate #1 and Nate #2) (2008)              Ron Coulter (b. 1979)


Ron Coulter received his Bachelors degree and Masters of Music Performance from the Youngstown State University Dana School of Music and is now the director of percussion studies at Casper College in Casper, WY.  Jam Box was composed while Coulter was director of percussion at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL and is dedicated to his students Nathan Staley and Nathan Kingery.”




Ricoam                                                                                                Moacir Santos (1926-2006)

Arr. 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. 



Slap Shift (1988)                                                                              J.B. Smith (b.1957)


J.B. Smith received the B.M. in music education from Baylor University where he studied with Dr. Larry Vanlandingham, the M.M. in percussion performance from the University of Illinois with Tom Siwe, and the D.M.A. in percussion from the University of North Texas with Robert Schietroma. Smith is currently Director of Percussion Studies at Arizona State University. Slap Shift is based on Afro-Cuban folkloric drumming rhythms.




Peaches En Regalia                                                                           Frank Zappa (1940-1993)

arr. Davis/Morgan


Guest Performers 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.






Over The Rainbow (1938)                                                              Harold Arlen (1905-1986)

Arr. Oetomo (b.1988)

Nathan Negro - Marimba


This percussion ensemble arrangement of Harold Arlen’s Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz is based on Oetomo’s solo marimba version. The three accompaniment parts support the soloist as if within a classical concerto setting.


A trio of mallet players accompanies the solo marimba part of vibraphones, glockenspiel, and a second marimba, diversifying the texture possibilities and color spectrum. The arrangement contains influences of jazz in its harmonies and quasi-improvisation, as well as classical romantic elements of runs, ornaments, and flourishes. The instrumentation highlights these influences while maintaining the simplicity of the melody and harmony of the original song.


Judy Garland first recorded the original song in 1938. It was then made famous through the acclaimed film, The Wizard of Oz, in 1939.


This arrangement was commissioned by Louis Boldrighini and Manvel High School Percussion Ensemble and premiered at the 2015 Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL.




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


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



Samba de Olodum                                                                            Traditional

Arr. Davis (b.1981)


Olodum is a percussion group from Salvador, Bahia, Brazil that is probably most well known in the United States for recording alongside prominent pop artists such as Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock.  However, in Brazil they are known for much more than that. Olodum is a non-government activism group that was developed to combat social discrimination, boost the self-esteem and pride of African-Brazilians, and defend and fight to secure civil and human rights for marginalized people in Bahia and Brazil.

Their rhythms featured here focus on a slower, “groove” style of samba as opposed to the upbeat, up-tempo Samba Batucada styles of Rio de Janeiro.



Desiring (2011)                                                                                David Morgan

Do I Dare Eat a Peach? (2011)                                                      



Dr. David Morgan, Professor of Jazz Studies and String Bass 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?



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


The 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




YSU Percussion Ensemble Personnel:

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


YSYO Percussion Ensemble Personnel:

Drew Scalzo, Canfield HS

Jordan Bender, Seneca Valley HS (PA)

Mickey McIntyre, Howland HS

Brandon Maffitt, Warren Harding HS

Gabe Demeter, Seneca Valley HS (PA)




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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