Bill Sallak’s work exists at a crossroads where the primal nature of percussion instruments collides with cutting-edge technology, where the solitary work of the creative artist brushes up alongside cross-disciplinary collaboration. While Bill’s focus is largely local – he is Assistant Professor/Dance Music Director at Kent State University and works throughout northeastern Ohio with the Akros Percussion Collective, the Kent Dance Ensemble, Antaeus Dance, and others – his music has reached audiences as faraway as Detroit, New York City, Phoenix, Mexico, Greece, South Korea, and Bangladesh, where he received a commission from the Grameen Bank, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
Along with percussionist Joshua Michael Carro and clarinetist Josh Bennett, Bill is a founding member of the no-holds-barred electroacoustic improvisation group Easy Worship Operator, which has been performing at art festivals and alternative spaces in the Phoenix area since 2007, and which will release their first recording in early 2010.
Bill has also performed with the Phoenix Symphony, the Akron Symphony, Crossing 32nd Street (voted Best New Classical Music Ensemble in Phoenix), Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble, Music on the Edge (Pittsburgh, PA), New Music Group/Daedalus, Ohio Ballet, and dance departments at The University of Akron, Ohio University, Slippery Rock University, Cleveland State University, SUNY-Fredonia, and Arizona State University.
Conference and festival appearances include a solo performance at the 2006 John Donald Robb Composers’ Symposium at the University of New Mexico, five Percussive Arts Society International Conferences, three SCI conferences, two American College Dance Festival regional conferences, three Phoenix Experimental Arts Festivals, Aspen Dance Connection (Aspen, CO), the 2006 World Congress on Dance Research (Athens, Greece), and the 2008 Cultura UNAM festival (Mexico City, Mexico).
His audio restoration of composer Ray Green’s score for May O’Donnell’s Dance Energies was presented as part of Ms. O’Donnell’s memorial concert at the Joyce Theatre in Manhattan, and he was selected as a fellow for the 2007 Bang on a Can Summer Festival in North Adams, MA. As a performer, conductor, composer, and coach, he has given world and regional premiere performances of over thirty works.
Bill is currently a member of the Percussive Arts Society Technology Committee as well as the International Guild of Musicians in Dance. A committed educator, Bill has taught college courses in percussion, contemporary music, musicology, rock history, jazz history, world music, electronic music, audio engineering, music for dancers and physics. Bill can be heard on releases from New World Records, 11 West Records, and Experimedia.
Bill holds undergraduate degrees in percussion performance and audioengineering from SUNY-Fredonia, a master’s degree in percussion performance from The University of Akron, and a doctorate from Arizona State University.
M.M., The University of Akron
D.M.A., Arizona State University