Eric T. Shuster is a percussionist, collaborator, and educator, interested in making music that draws from and incorporates other art forms. Serving on the faculty since 2011, he teaches applied percussion, music theory, and is director of the Salisbury University Percussion Ensemble.
Shuster performs in all kinds of settings—concert halls, bars, parks, living rooms, basements, art spaces, and classrooms—and seeks to engage each of his audience's senses, including nonsense. He takes philosophical cues from John Cage who posited that “percussion music is revolution” and that art is self-alteration. To that end, Shuster is interested in the repertoire of distinctive compositional voices old and new; innovative, underrepresented work; and work that includes elements of theater, dance, speech, movement, sculpture, conceptual art, and storytelling. He explores work such as this in the Salisbury University Percussion Ensemble, and in Steady State, a percussion duo in which he is a performer alongside his brother Tim.
Shuster’s performing has taken him around the world and among his appearances include the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, College Music Society International Conference, and the Patagonia International Festival of Percussion. His collaboration with artists and composers has resulted in dozens of new works and his writing has been published in Percussive Notes.
Since joining the Salisbury University community, Shuster’s initiatives have included forming the Salisbury University Percussion Ensemble, staging the annual Salisbury Percussion Festival, and facilitating the Friday Drums exchange series with the UMBC Percussion Ensemble. In addition to his work at SU he is an adjunct professor of music at Wor-Wic Community College, director of percussion at Stephen Decatur High School, and percussion instructor for the Presto preparatory school of music.
Shuster performs regularly for the New Music Salisbury series, Salisbury Symphony Orchestra, Salisbury Chorales, Salisbury Brass Ensemble, the Chris English Band, and in his own percussion duo, Steady State.
Shuster holds a Master of Music in performance from Louisiana State University where he studied with percussionist and composer Brett William Dietz and timpanist Jim Atwood, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music summa cum laude from Kutztown University under the tutelage of Willis Rapp and Frank Kumor. He has also participated as a fellow at the Bang on a Can Summer Institute, nief-norf Summer Festival, and Sō Percussion Summer Institute.