Ron Coulter is currently Instructor of Percussion, Improvisation, Jazz, American Popular and World Musics at Casper College. He previously served as Senior Lecturer of Percussion, Improvisation, and Jazz Studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale for a decade and as a Visiting Instructor of Percussion at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He has also served as an Adjunct Instructor of Percussion at John A. Logan College and Youngstown State University, and as an independent contractor at Westminster College and Chadron State College. He has presented clinics, master classes, lectures, and/or performances at more than 100 colleges and universities internationally as a visiting artist, and has been a faculty member of the Casper Mountain Jazz Camp, Southern Illinois Music Camp, and SIUC Jazz Camp. In 2006 Ron was invited to become an Educational Endorser with the Promark Corporation and Black Swamp Percussion, and in 2016 he became an Educational Endorser with Pearl Drums and Adams Percussion.

Ron has been a freelance percussionist since 1997, performing in a wide gamut of musical situations from burlesque cabaret to live electronica. As a performer, he has toured internationally appearing in 49 U.S. states, Norway, Croatia, Australia, and most major cities in the European Union, Japan, and Canada. He has performed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Harry James Orchestra, Four Aces, The Gaylords, Al Martino, Linux Laptop Orchestra, Tone Road Ramblers, New Arts Jazztet, Sean Jones, Keith Javors, Todd Coolman, Eric Richards, Donadi, Galen Abdur-Razzaq, Marvin Stamm, Dominick Farinacci, Ben Markley, Donald Smith, Joanne Brackeen, Maria Schneider, Bruce Johnstone, Chuck Mangione, Rip Lee Pryor, Martin “Big Larry” Allbritton, Casey D. James, Ivas John, Billy Contreras, Ashley Campbell, Lucy Shelton, Susan Botti, Julia Rich, Sony Holland, Abby Burke, Cristina Fontanelli, Beat Kaestli, Nick Hilscher, Bryan Anthony, Steve Lippia, Dick Johnson, Eric P. Mandat, Bill Smith, William O. Smith, James Falzone, François Houle, Vinny Golia, Viv Corringham, Tatsuya Nakatani, Gino Robair, Michael Zerang, Chris Corsano, RICKSPLUND, Kelan Phil Cohran, Charles “Bobo” Shaw, Jim Staley, John Fonville, Morgan Powell, Ray Sasaki, Howie Smith, Tomeka Reid, Durán Vásquez, Paulo Raposo, Alexander Markov, Carol Wincenc, Eric Ruske, Francesca Dego, Elena Ulyanova, Ryan Anthony, Eliot Fisk, Bolokada Condé, Weedie Braimah, Erica Azim, Caution Shonhai, Renold Shonhai, Marvin Hamlisch, Sandy Duncan, Robert Van Sice, Robert Schietroma, Sylvia Smith, Music from China, Red Desert, Neoteric, Altgeld Chamber Players, One-Off Radiophonic Orchestra, HaZMaT Percussion Group, Maraca2, The Chance Operations Collective of Kalamazoo, Sam West Trio, Woodbox Gang, Rapture 7, Well Well Wells, and Rum Runners, among many, many others.

Ron is a co-founder of the Percussion Art Ensemble and Youngstown Percussion Collective, and he founded the Perkusiv Arts Elektronik, which was a collective exploring the performance of existing, and the creation of new, electro-acoustic music, including 69 commissions/world premiers from 2005 to 2006. Ron has performed with symphony orchestras across the U.S.A. including the Wyoming Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Paducah Symphony, Powder River Symphony, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Southern Illinois Symphony, Southern Illinois Music Festival Orchestra, Warren Philharmonic Orchestra, Warren Packard Band, Ballet Ariel Orchestra, Dana Symphony Orchestra, and the Shenango Valley Lyric Opera. He has also appeared as a soloist with the Wyoming Chamber Orchestra, Southern Illinois Symphony, Linux Laptop Orchestra, Dana Symphony Orchestra, and the YSU Wind and Percussion Ensembles.

Ron has presented at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (2013, 2003, 2002), International Society for Improvised Music Symposium (2009 & 2008), Montreal Jazz Festival (2009 & 2004), JVC Jazz Festival, International Clarinetfest, ReVIEWING Black Mountain College 3–John Cage, Music Series–John Cage Festival, nief-norf’s John Cage Research Summit, NIME, HICAH, VU2, tilde~, LiWoLi–Art Meets Radical Openness, Blurred Edges Festival, Open Spaces Festival, Interference Series, Vu Symposium, Athena Festival VI, Futurisms Centennial Conference, Sound Lines, RadiaLx, St. Louis New Music Circle (2012 & 2010), TUTTI Festival, Kinser Jazz Festival, Glenn Miller Festival, Jazz Education Network International Conference, BYU Barlow Lecture Series, Big Muddy Film Festival (2011 & 2010), UNCG New Music Festival, The Noble Snare–25 Years Festival, redStone Recital & Gallery Series (2017–2014), Outside the Box New Music Festival (2014–2007), Casper Chamber Music Society Series, U.S. Army Band Tuba/Euphonium International Conference, College Music Society National Conference (2012 & 2008), Illinois PAS Day of Percussion (2012, 2010, 2009), Wyoming PAS Day of Percussion (2017–2015), American College Dance Festival Association Conference, Music Educators National Conference, and numerous state and regional PAS and Music Education Association conferences, among many others.

Ron was selected as a finalist in the 2002 Percussive Arts Society International Multiple Percussion Competition and can be heard on more than 50 issued audio recordings with various artists; including the debut recording of Drm&Gtr featuring his original compositions for percussion, guitar, and electronics released in March 2017; and his fourth album with duende entendre released in December 2017. His second solo recording featuring his compositions for percussion and electronics is slated for release in July 2018.

Interests in noise, intermedia, performance art, acoustic ecology, radio art, interdisciplinary collaboration, and non-idiomatic improvisation have led to organizing Fluxconcerts, founding the Improvisation Unit, co-founding duende entendre, REDVIXA, Marble Hammer, and Drm&Gtr, in addition to collaborative projects with artists specializing in performance art, sculpture, video, spoken word, and sound art. Ron is the founder, artistic director, and curator of the Southern Illinois Improvisation Series (SiiS) and Wyoming Experimental Sound Series (WyExSs). The SiiS was a twice-monthly series (2014-2007) that presented 135 free sound events exploring interdisciplinary collaboration, technology integration, site-specific work, sound installations, sound empowerment, education, and documentation in the rural southern Illinois region. The WyExSs (2018-2014) presents composed and improvised music in the American Experimentalist tradition and is the first of its kind in the state of Wyoming. Drm&Gtr is free-jazz duo with Canadian guitarist, Jay Reed. Duende entendre is an ongoing collaboration with poet and bassist, Sam West, and Marble Hammer was a blue-noiz trio with guitarist, Casey James, and bassist, Mike Alderfer. Additional interdisciplinary collaborators include Mary Beth Edelson (performance art), Dr. Craig Gingrich-Philbrook (performance art), Dr. Susannah “Bunny” LeBaron (performance art), Terry Adkins (sound & visual art), Kerry Laitala (video), Wago Krieder (video), Jay Needham (sound & visual art), David Romtvedt (poetry), Erin Taylor (sculpture), Chris Scamehorn (ceramics), and Boris Chesakov (metal sculpture).

As a composer, Ron has created more than 300 original compositions for various media encompassing numerous genres. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Canada, South America, Australia, Europe, and have been recorded on the Kreating SounD, Upper Hand Press, Vox Novus, Not Art Records, and A Caldera record labels; selected scores and editions are published by HoneyRock Publishing, Frog Peak Music, Smith Publications, and Kreating SounD.

Ron’s musicological research has unearthed more than twenty unknown percussion works from the 1930s and 1940s, of which he is facilitating premiere live performances, recordings, and publication as audio CDs and/or scores, in addition to analytical papers.

As a curator, Ron has organized over 500 free public presentations of music and intermedia art involving more than 100 artists across a multitude of disciplines. During his tenure at SIUC he organized 73 visiting percussion artists presenting 124 free percussion events, in addition to the 135 free sound events of the SiiS, for the university and regional communities. At present, he is the instrumental director of the Kinser Jazz Festival, and coordinator of visiting percussion artists at Casper College, as well as the founder and artistic director of the Wyoming Experimental Sound Series (WyExSs) and Casper College New Music Days.

Ron’s longtime interest in contemporary music has led to the commission of more than 30 compositions and the premieres of more than 400 individual works as a performer or conductor.

Originally from Hermitage, Pennsylvania, Ron Coulter (b. 1978) was raised on a dairy farm and eventually earned M.M. and B.M. degrees in Percussion Performance from Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio. His principle teachers include Dr. Glenn Schaft, Tony Leonardi, Dr. Stephen Gage, Feza Zweifel, John Riley, Fred Morris, Moussa Bolokada Condé, Caution Shonhai, Renold Shonhai, Erica Azim, and Nina DeCiancio.

Ron Coulter