Faculty & Staff

Eugene Novotney

Contact Information

Eugene Novotney


Percussion, Calypso Band, Percussion Ensembles, Music in World Culture

Bachelor of Music Degree in Percussion from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Master of Music Degree & Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Illinois, with emphasis in Percussion, Composition, and Ethnomusicology. Studied Ewe drumming and Dagara xylophone music at the “Dagara Music Center” in Medie, Ghana, and Brazilian percussion at the “Instituto de Investigacio Musico” in Salvador, Brazil.

As a percussionist and composer, Eugene Novotney has performed and presented lectures and master classes in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He is recognized internationally as a composer of contemporary percussion music, and his compositions are widely performed as standards of the literature. His snare drum composition, A Minute of News (The Noble Snare), has been used as the test piece for numerous snare drum competitions, including the Concours International de Caisse Claire - Conservatoire National de Region de Paris (2004 & 2007; Paris, France), the VIII Jornadas Internacionales de Percussion de Ribarroja del Turia (2006; Valencia, Spain), the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Modern Snare Drum Competition (2008; Atlanta, Georgia), the Concorso Internazionale per Strumenti a Percussione e Batteria (2009; Fermo, Italy), and others.

Dr. Novotney has also conducted research trips to Xian, Shanghai & Beijing, China, Ubud & Blabatuh, Bali, Accra & Kokrobite, Ghana, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, resulting in numerous transcriptions, arrangements, and analytical studies. He has performed on several occasions in Trinidad’s National Panorama Competition, and he has regularly served as an adjudicator for Pan Trinbago, the national governing body for the advancement of steelband music in Trinidad & Tobago. He was a member of the adjudication panel of Trinidad’s World Steelband Festivals in 1998, 2000, and 2008 held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and also was an adjudicator for Trinidad’s World Steelband Festival 2005 held in Madison Square Garden, New York, NY. In addition, he was a member of the adjudication panel of the 2000 European Steelband Festival held in Paris, France, and the adjudication panel for the 2005 Trinidad National Schools Music Festival held in Port-of-Spain.

He is Professor of Music and Director of Percussion Studies at California State University-Humboldt, and is the founder and coordinator of the ‘Percussion in World Music’ program for the California State University Summer Arts Program. In 2006, Dr. Novotney was awarded the Wang Family Excellence Award by the California State University Board of Trustees, a prestigious award that recognizes and celebrates California State faculty who, through extraordinary commitment and dedication, have distinguished themselves through exemplary contributions and achievements in their academic disciplines. Eugene Novotney currently serves as a member of the Board of Director’s of the Percussive Arts Society, and also, as the Chairman of the Percussive Arts Society New Music/Research Committee. His recordings have been released on the Bembe, Delos, SANCH, Pogo, Rituals and Earthbeat (Rhino) labels, and his compositions are available through Smith Publications of Baltimore, Maryland.