Eugene Novotney - Steel Pan Composer, Educator
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 internationally recognized as a steelpan artists and scholar, and has been involved in the steelpan movement in the United States since 1982. In 1985, he founded the first steelband in the California State University System, the Humboldt State Calypso Band, which he still leads and directs. He has performed in Trinidad’s National Panorama Competition four times (1993, 1994, 2003, 2010), and he has served six times 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, the adjudication panel for the 2005 Trinidad National Schools Music Festival held in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, and an adjudicator for the 2010 and 2011 Virginia Arts festival PANoramas held in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He is Professor of Music and the Director of Percussion Studies at California State University-Humboldt in Arcata, California, and is the founder 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, an award that recognizes California State faculty who, through extraordinary commitment and dedication, have distinguished themselves through exemplary contributions and achievements in their academic disciplines. In 2014, Dr. Novotney was honored as the recipient of Humboldt State University’s distinguished Outstanding Professor Award, an award reserved for faculty who have made superlative contributions to the university and the community in terms of their service, their professional and creative activities, and their outstanding record of teaching excellence. In 2017, Dr. Novotney was selected as the recipient of the Sunshine Award for Education and the Performing Arts in a ceremony held at the AXA Equitable Theatre in NYC for his lifelong dedication to the promotion of Caribbean culture worldwide. Eugene Novotney currently serves as a member of the Percussive Arts Society World Percussion Committee, and is the Senior Editor of The Steel Times, the professional journal of the National Society of Steel Band Educators. His recordings have been released on the Bembe, Delos, SANCH, Pogo, Rituals and Earthbeat (Rhino) labels, and his compositions and arrangements are available through Smith Publications of Sharon, Vermont and Mau Mau Music of Cleveland, Ohio. His professional artists endorsements include Black Swamp Percussion and REMO Incorporated.