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PE - 10/30/08 - Butler North

 Youngstown State University Percussion Ensemble

Dr. Glenn Schaft-director & Tetsuya Takeno-assistant director

30 October 2008

Butler North

8 p.m.


Ostinato Pianissimo (1934)                                                                                                                          Henry Cowell (1897-1965)

Bob Young – xylophone

The work is based on an ostinato (repeated) phrase that varies in length for each performer and these are juxtaposed in various ways. Only at the very end do the performers come together in unison rhythms. Early percussion music including Ostinato Pianissimo was frequently played by non-percussionists since percussion ensembles largely did not exist at this time. Cowell states in his score that the only “professional” percussionist required for this piece be the xylophonist. Notes by Glenn Schaft


Variations on a Ghanaian Theme (1981)                                                                                                      Daniel Levitan (b.1953)


Variations on a Ghanaian Theme uses rhythmic patterns from the folkloric music of Ghana, Africa. He manipulates these patterns and varies them using different musical techniques such as permutation and counterpoint. Notes by Daniel Levitan.


Fox Grove (2004)                                                                                                                                 Jeffrey Alan Matter (b. 1978)

Fox Grove is written in memory of my friend Amanda who was taken from this earth by an act of violence. The title is based on the subdivision in which we would take long walks and discuss the important social issues of high school and life in general. The opening motive represents the tears of everyone who has lost a loved one through a violent act. Notes by Jeff Matter


Music for Five Pieces of Wood (1973)                                                                                                          Steve Reich (b. 1936)


Music for Pieces of Wood is scored for five sets of tuned claves and consists of three sections each systematically decreasing in length. Reich’s compositional technique involves a gradual-process whereby each player successively adds to the original rhythm. The three sections consist of progressively shorter rhythmic cycles – section one 12 notes, section two 8 notes, and section three 6 notes. Each player begins with a one-note pattern and adds notes, one at a time, until a complete pattern results. This process is then repeated with successive players. The music allows the listeners to perceive various tempi and rhythmic patterns. Notes by Joshua Haggerty


Three Argentinian Tangos (1996)                                                                                                             Charlo, arr.  Werner Thomas-Mifune

Mifune’s arrangements are published for string quartet and are transcribed here for marimba quartet. The Tango is an Argentine urban song/dance form that remained popular throughout the 20th century but which originated in the poor neighborhoods of Buenos Aires in the late 19th century. The dance, for couples in a tight embrace, is characterized by sensual movement, the music is frequently in a minor mode, and includes dramatic rhythmic and dynamic contracts. Notes by Glenn Schaft




Piru Bole (1986)                                                                                                                                                  John Bergamo (b.1940)

Although Piru Bole is based on East Indian drumming concepts, it is not traditional but rather more in line with some of the experiments happening with non-traditional percussion ensemble throughout India. The chant-vocalizations utilize some of the syllables, or vocal chant language called Konocol of South India. Notes by John Bergamo and Glenn Schaft


Piano Phase (1980)                                                                                                                                              Steve Reich (b. 1936)

Cory Doran & Tetsuya Takeno - marimba

Piano Phase may be performed by two pianists or two marimbists. This work explores the concept of music as gradual process. This process determines the note-to-note details and the overall form simultaneously. The process is audible because it is happening gradually. One cannot improvise in a musical process as the concepts are mutually exclusive. The piece consists of three large sections (composed of various repeated melodies) each of which undergoes a rhythmic phasing process. For example, the first section is comprised of a twelve-note pattern that is constantly repeated, joined (in unison) by the second player, and then the second player begins to embark on a series of twelve phasing episodes. During each phasing the second player gradually accelerates his pattern (against the fixed tempo pattern of player one) until he advances to the second note of the pattern, then the third, etc. This process continues until player two arrives back at the original unison pattern. Then the second section, an eight-note pattern, undergoes the exact same process. And finally, the third section is based on a four-note pattern. Notes by Glenn Schaft


Conga Trio World Premiere (2008)                                                                                                   D. Anshutz, C. Doran, T. Takeno

Dean Anshutz, Cory Doran, Tetsuya Takeno


Square Dance (1996)                                                                                                                                              Yoshioka Takeyoshi 

Four marimbas are placed so that two players face the audience and the other two do not. The consideration how to show the faces of the latter two generated the concept of this piece; to change positions. When I envisioned four players moving around the instruments, it seemed as if they were dancing around a square frame and the title “Square Dance” emerged. Notes by Yoshioka and Glenn Schaft


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



Graduate Assistant:

Tetsuya Takeno Kanagawa-Ken, Japan


Mario Butera, Pittsburgh, PA

Cory Doran, Columbus, OH

Zachary Taylor, Bloomingdale, OH  


Kevin Rabold, Pittsburgh, PA


Joshua Colson, Transfer, PA

Robert Young,  Austintown, OH

Eric Zalenski, Bloomingdale, OH


Mike Farinelli, Cranberry Twsp., PA

Thomas Goldthwait, Youngstown, OH

Matthew Hayes, Coshocton, OH

Dustin May, Westerville, OH

Gino West, Poland OH

Gary White, Warren, OH

Special thanks to Avedis Zildijian Co., Remo Inc., ProMark Inc. , Dynasty USA, and Black Swamp Percussion for their product and artist support.


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