Glenn Schaft is a drummer and percussionist who has performed and recorded with myriad artists in diverse musical idioms including: classical, new music, ballet, opera, modern dance, jazz and improvised music, pop, rock, blues, funk, fusion, Broadway musicals, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian, and traditional West African styles.
He is an artist endorser with the Zildjian cymbal company, Vic Firth sticks and mallets, Remo drumheads and world percussion, and an educational consultant with Black Swamp Percussion.
Glenn is Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at Youngstown State University where he teaches applied percussion, directs the Percussion Ensemble, and serves as co/founder and faculty advisor for the Youngstown Percussion Collective. Glenn performs with the YSU Faculty Jazz Group, with whom he twice toured China, performing and teaching at acclaimed conservatories in Beijing, Nanjing, and Hangzhou.
Glenn's recording of Dave Morgan concerto "Reactions 2017 for Drumset and Wind Ensemble" with the Youngstown State University Wind Ensemble appears on the disc Made In Youngstown and is scheduled for release April 2019. Glenn most recent recording, for Dave Morgan's large jazz ensemble project Blue Is More Than A Color, was released in 2019. Glenn has also recorded with the Youngstown Percussion Collective, Ron Coulter, John Hollenbeck, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Scott Wyatt, Amanda Powell, Steve Cipriano, Air Force Band of Mid-America, Youngstown State University Wind Ensemble, Ludwig Master Publications, and myriad jingles.
A member of the Percussive Arts Society, Glenn has served on the Drumset Committee, University Pedagogy Committee, Membership Committee, PASIC Planning Committee, and has presented lectures, panel discussions, and performed at PASIC international conventions throughout the United States.
Glenn earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana where he studied with Tom Siwe, the Master of Arts in Performance at Eastern Illinois University where he studied with Johnny Lee Lane, the Bachelor of Music in Performance at Baldwin-Wallace University where he studied with George Kiteley, and completed post-doctoral studies in contemporary music and orchestral percussion at Cleveland State University where he studied with Edwin London, Jay Burnham, and Tom Freer. His principal teachers include Harold Damas, George Kiteley, Johnny Lee Lane, Tom Siwe, and Jay Burnham. Glenn studied orchestral percussion with Tom Freer, drumset with John Riley, Lewis Nash, and John Hollenbeck, Afro-Cuban percussion with Roberto Vizcaino, Fermin Nani, and Santiago Nani at the National School of the Arts in Havana, Cuba, with Giovanni Hidalgo, Horacio Hernandez, Glen Velez, Jamie Haddad, and Trichy Sankaran at the Berklee College of Music World Percussion Festival, drum circle facilitation with Christine Stevens, ethnomusicology with Bruno Nettl, Charles Capwell, Tom Torino, and Larry Gushee, and jazz composition with Alan Horney.
Glenn has recorded and served as executive producer with the Youngstown Percussion Collective, and recorded with Dave Morgan, Ron Coulter, John Hollenbeck, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Scott Wyatt, Amanda Powell, Steve Cipriano, Air Force Band of Mid-America, Youngstown State University Wind Ensemble, Ludwig Masters Publications, and myriad jingles.
His symphonic and contemporary music credits include conductors such as Giora Bernstein, Jeffery Siegel, Anton Coppola, Edwin London, Gunther Schuller, Paul Martin Zonn, Peter Schickele, aka P.D.Q. Bach, ensembles such as Colorado Music Festival, Skaneateles Chamber Music Festival, "Artist In Residence" at Baldwin-Wallace University with the contemporary/world percussion group BATTU, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Cleveland Ballet, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Opera, Pittsburgh Symphony Percussion Section, Robert Page Singers, Akron Symphony, Richmond (IN) Symphony, Springfield (IL) Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Duluth-Superior Symphony, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Dance Theater of Harlem, Cleveland Dance Collective, and artists such as Paul Sperry, Julie Newell, Robert Weirich, Robert Van Sice, and Ben Toth.
Glenn’s drumset and world music credits include Ruben Alvarez, American Jazz Orchestra, Joe Augustine, Clifford Barnes, Peter Bernstein, Chuck Berry, Sam Blakeslee, Theron Brown, Nick Brignola, Freddie Bryant, Ndugu Chancellor, Sarah Jane Cion, Todd Coolman, Stewart Copeland, Anthony Cox, 1940's Radio Hour Show-U.S. Tour, Todd Coolman, Harold Danko, Peter Dominguez, Paquito D’Rivera, Larry Elgart, Raul Esparza, Dominic Farinacchi, John Fedchock, Five By Design, Brad Goode, Reynaldo Gonzales, Jeff Grubbs, Chris Hemmingway, Taku Hirano, Laurence Hobgood, Engelbert Humperdink, Randy Johnston, Sean Jones, Mike Kocour, Alison Krauss, Victor Krauss, Ralph Lalama, Mike Lee, Tony Leonardi, Robert Lockwood Jr., Bryan Lynch, Jim McNeely, Hank Marr, Alton Merrell, Tim Miller, Ben Monder, Michael Pagan, Phil Palombi, Ken Peplowski, Billy Porter, Doug Richeson, Chita Rivera, Trichy Sankaran, Jack Shantz, Howie Smith, Michael Spiro, Marvin Stamm, Chip Stephens, Dave Stryker, Michael Stryker, The Texas Tenors, Zvonimir Tot, Alan Vizzutti, Dan Wall, James Weidman, Michael Weiss, Dan Wilson, Mike Wofford, Women of the Phantom, Andrea Zonn, and Youngstown State University Faculty Jazz Group and many others.
Glenn's has presented concerts, clinics, masterclasses, and lectures at the University of Michigan, Indiana University, University of Colorado Boulder, Purdue University, Eastern Illinois University, University of Akron, Ashland University, Kent State University, Kent State Stark, Southern Illinois University, Slippery Rock University, Denison University, Casper College, Ohio Music Education Association Professional Conferences, and the Interlochen School of the Arts. He has adjudicated MENC State Solo and Ensemble Events and Collegiate and High School Jazz Festivals throughout the Midwest. He has taught at the United States Percussion Camp, Illinois Summer Youth Music Camp, Richland Academy Summer Jazz Camp, and the Baldwin Wallace University Summer Music Clinic. His university teaching credits include Eastern Illinois University, the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Parkland College, Baldwin-Wallace University, University of Minnesota Duluth, Concordia College, Minnesota State University Moorhead, North Dakota State University, and Cuyahoga Community College.
Glenn lives in Poland, Ohio with his wife Sara, a professional violinist and their twin boys Lewis and Karl.
Glenn was born and raised in Berea, on the west side of Cleveland, and began playing drums at the age of two; the drums a gift from his uncle - a high school band director. Glenn began formal lessons in fourth grade with Cleveland area jazz drummer and vibraphonist Harold Damas, with whom he studied for twelve years. Glenn began performing professionally in tenth grade with the west-side of Cleveland based band “The Fudales” and also began teaching private students while at Berea High School. During high school Glenn studied at the Baldwin-Wallace College Summer Music Clinics with George Kiteley and at the Ludwig Drum Company Summer Percussion Symposiums with Joe Morello, Alan Dawson, Ed Shaughnessy, Leigh Howard Stevens, David Friedman, David Samuels, Al Payson, Charlie Christian, Fred Sanford, Carmine Appice, Marv Dahlgren, Charles Dowd, David Charles, and others.
From 1978-92 Glenn attended Baldwin-Wallace University; Conservatory, studied percussion with George Kiteley, and earned the Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance. He also studied jazz vibraphone with Harold Damas. He was the Conservatory’s Concerto Competition Co-Winner in 1981, and freelanced in northeast Ohio with local bands, his own jazz quartet, a vibe/marimba duo he founded with student colleague Michael Wimberly, and performed with the Tommy Dorsey Band among others.
From 1982-83 Glenn attended Eastern Illinois University, studied percussion with Johnny Lee Lane, jazz composition with Alan Horney, earned the Master of Arts in Percussion Performance, and served as graduate jazz and percussion teaching assistant where he directed jazz ensemble II and a jazz combo, directed the marimba ensemble, taught vibraphone lessons, performed in the percussion ensemble, jazz ensemble I and combo I. Glenn also performed with the Kevin Gainer Quartet which received the “Outstanding Combo” award at the 1983 Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival and 1983 Memphis State University Jazz Festival, and performed professionally throughout Illinois. Thereafter, Glenn did an extensive United States musical tour with the 1940’s Radio Hour Show based in Dallas, Texas, recorded an album with the Air Force Band of Mid America, taught at the Eastern Illinois University Summer Jazz Camps, taught private lessons, and played freelance drumset gigs throughout Illinois.
From 1984-86 and 1987-88 Glenn pursued doctoral studies at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, studied percussion with Tom Siwe, ethnomusicology with Bruno Nettl, Charles Capwell, Larry Gushee, and Tom Torino, and later completed the Doctor of Musical Arts in Percussion Performance and Literature degree in 1993. While in-residence at UI for three years, Glenn was a member of John Garvey’s world renowned Jazz Ensemble I, the Graduate Percussion Group, and the New Music Ensemble. His doctoral thesis was entitled “Jazz Drumming 1960-65; Transcriptions and Analysis of Small Group Techniques” and Glenn was invited to present a lecture about his research at the 1993 Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Columbus, OH. Glenn recorded Scott Wyatt’s multiple percussion and tape solo Time Mark (available at SteveWeissMusic.com), various commercial jingles, and an album with singer/songwriter Nancy Hill. He taught at the UI Summer Youth Music Jazz and Percussion Camps, was adjunct percussion instructor at Parkland College in Champaign, IL, and served as a UI graduate teaching assistant for jazz improvisation courses. As a freelance artist, Glenn appeared as soloist with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony, performed with the Springfield Symphony, The Rovers - a country-rock band, jazz artists such as Laurence Hobgood, Michael Stryker, Bryan Lynch, Michael Weiss, Brad Kirk, Jeff Helgeson, Kim Richmond, Sean Flanigan, Les Elgart, Larry Elgart, Red Skelton, Engelbert Humperdinck, and at the International Association of Jazz Educator’s Convention in Detroit.
In 1986-87 Glenn accepted his first full-time university teaching position as Tri-College Visiting Lecturer at the University of Minnesota-Moorhead, North Dakota State University, and Concordia College, where he taught applied percussion, percussion ensemble, percussion methods, and coached the NDSU Drumline. He also served as principal timpani/percussion with the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony.
From 1988-94 Glenn lived in Lakewood and worked as a freelance artist in the Cleveland/northeast Ohio area. He was a member of the world percussion quartet BATTU "artists in-residence" at Baldwin Wallace College. BATTU toured Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas and presented hundreds of performances and clinics for Young Audiences of Greater Cleveland. Glenn served as principal and assistant principal percussion with the award-winning Cleveland Chamber Symphony, including myriad world premieres, tours to the Ball State University New Music Festival and Harvard University, and nine compact disc recordings on Gunther Schueller's GM label. Glenn also performed with Cleveland Ballet, Cleveland Opera, Ohio Chamber Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival in Boulder, Robert Page Singers, and appeared as soloist with the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. He performed Cleveland Opera’s world premiere of Stewart Copeland’s opera Holy Blood and Crescent Moon and played with rock & roll legend Chuck Berry. Glenn completed two years of post-doctoral studies at Cleveland State University where he studied contemporary music with Edwin London, served as personnel manager and principal percussion with the New Music Associates - a professional ensemble in-residence at CSU, and studied orchestral percussion with Tom Freer and Jay Burnham of the Cleveland Orchestra. Glenn taught at the Baldwin-Wallace College Preparatory Department, taught timpani and drumset for twelve summers at the United States Percussion Camp, and taught world music at Cuyahoga Community College. In 1994 he was awarded a professional research grant from the Ohio Arts Council to study Afro-Cuban folkloric percussion with Roberto Vizciano, Fermin Nani, and Santiago Nani at the National School of the Arts in Havana, Cuba.
From 1994-96 Glenn served as visiting assistant professor of percussion and jazz studies at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he taught applied percussion, percussion ensemble, percussion methods, jazz history, African Roots of American Music, directed big bands and combos, and founded an Afro-Cuban Folkloric Music course and Latin-Jazz Combo. He served as principal timpanist with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, section percussion with the Duluth-Superior Symphony, and performed with jazz artists Anthony Cox, Harvey Weinapple, and Michael Pagan. Glenn received a UMD faculty research grant to study at the Berklee College of Music World Percussion Festival with Giovanni Hidalgo, Horacio Hernandez, Glen Velez, Jamie Haddad, Victor Mendoza, and Trichy Sankaran during the summer of 1995.
Glenn began teaching at Youngstown State University in 1996 where he has built a renowned percussion studies program that has attracted students from the United States, Europe, Japan, and Brazil.