Music Department

Percussion Faculty

Tom Freer
Coordinator of Percussion Studies

Tom Freer is Assistant Principal Timpanist and Section Percussion with The Cleveland Orchestra since 1991. Prior to his position in Cleveland, Tom served as Principal Timpanist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Principal Timpanist with The Alabama Symphony and Principal Percussion/ Assistant Timpani with the Norrkoping Symphony in Norrkoping, Sweden. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music where he was the last timpani student accepted by Cloyd E. Duff and has also studied with Richard Weiner, Paul Yancich, Jim Atwood and Mario Gaetano. An active artist and clinician for Adams, Pearl, Zildjian Cymbals and Freer Percussion Products, Tom has done clinics and masterclasses throughout the United States and Europe including Yale University, Peabody Conservatory, Royal Stockholm Conservatory, Chosen Vale and of course the Duff Masterclass which is the longest running timpani seminar in history now in its 31st year. Tom has also been awarded two patents on percussion instrument designs, is the owner of Freer Percussion Products, and is head of the percussion department at Cleveland State University where his students have achieved considerable success as orchestral timpanists and percussionists over the past twenty years. He has recorded extensively and toured with some of the greatest conductors of our time, all over the world. Tom can be heard on over twenty Cleveland Orchestra recordings on the London/Decca and Deutsche Grammophon labels.

Bruce Golden
Lecturer, Percussion

Bruce Golden is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music where he received his Bachelor and Masters degrees. His principle teachers include Richard Weiner and Cloyd Duff. Bruce has also studied drum set with George Lawrence and Bodhran with Mance Grady.  Bruce served as Principal Percussionist with the Toledo Symphony, Toledo Opera and Toledo Ballet and has also played with the Cleveland Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, New Hampshire Symphony, Nashua Symphony and Indian Hill Symphony.   Bruce has served on the faculty of University of Toledo and is presently directing the Cleveland State University Percussion Ensemble.
Beginning in fall of 2012 the CSU percussion department is pleased to announce the return of Bruce Golden to the percussion faculty. Bruce will be director of the percussion ensemble as well as teaching all undergraduate students and non majors.

Bill Ransom
Jazz Drums

Bandleader, drummer and percussionist Bill Ransom is a musical chameleon - equally at home with classical, jazz, R&B and rock. With a style described as “physical, stirring, demanding, rare and personal,” Bill has toured and recorded with leading artists including Patrice Rushen, Beth Hart, Marion Meadows, Cecil Bridgewater, Diane Reeves, Mary Wilson, and James Newton. He spent much of the 90’s on the road with contemporary saxophonist Najee and R&B crooner Gerald LeVert and was featured percussionist on Mr. LeVert’s solo debut, “Private Line.” Bill has appeared a number of theatrical productions including “Love, Janis”, under the musical direction of Big Brother & the Holding Company’s Sam Andrew who noted “¼When Bill Ransom plays the drums he looks as if he is made of rubber and he makes every time special because he acts it out.” 

For the past several years Bill has directed “Jazz Meets Hip Hop” for the Tri-C JazzFest in Cleveland, Ohio and is a consultant to both the Shaker Heights school system and Cleveland Music School Settlement. His debut CD, Generations, was released nationwide in November, 2005 on Bongo Time Records.

garrett arneyGarrett Arney

Percussionist Garrett Arney, hailing from the Yale School of Music where he studied with Robert Van Sice, is active both as a talented young soloist, and as a respected chamber musician. A veteran of numerous international competitions, he has performed with groups as varied as So Percussion and Lunar Ensemble, as well as with solo artists such as Michael Burritt, and the highly respected Boris Berman.  He has also participated in the Norfolk New Music Festival and also the Lake George Music Festival. His percussion ensemble arx duo, formed with duo partner Mari Yoshinaga, has taught and performed to much acclaim at a variety of venues on the east coast and midwest, as well as internationally, including trips to Japan and Ghana. arx duo is sponsored by Vic Firth.

With a special passion and dedication to expanding the repertoire of percussion music, Garrett has been actively involved in the commission and development of new works, including Alejandro Vinao’s “Book of Grooves” for two marimbas, giving the World Premiere with Sao Aoki in January of 2012. He has also worked with, and performed new works by James Wood, John Luther Adams, Steve Reich, Steven Mackey, and numerous young composers.       

In addition to Yale, Mr. Arney also holds degrees from Michigan State University, and the Peabody Conservatory.