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SUNY Potsdam Dedicates Goodman Percussion Alley & Petercsak Percussion Studio at The Crane School of Music

August 7, 2023

Newly Renovated Percussion Spaces at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music Dedicated to Honor Accomplished Alumnus & Long-Time Professor 

From left, Crane School of Music Dean Dr. William Gibbons, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus James Petercsak and Scott Goodman ’79 pose for a photo outside the newly dedicated percussion spaces at The Crane School of Music.

SUNY Potsdam recently celebrated the dedication of two newly renovated spaces at The Crane School of Music, in honor of an accomplished alumnus and a long-time professor.  

During Reunion 2023, the College officially unveiled the Margo and Scott E. Goodman Percussion Alley and the James Petercsak “JP” Percussion Studio, both located in the new $21.5 million extension to The Crane School of Music complex.  

The Goodman Percussion Alley encompasses Crane’s percussion teaching suite, with state-of-the-art practice and instruction areas. The space is named in honor of percussion alumnus Scott Goodman ’79, who along with his wife Margo has donated $100,000 to support The Crane School of Music, in acknowledgment of the impact that his experience at Crane has had on his life and his successful career in the music business industry. 

A Crane School of Music percussion student rehearses on the marimba in the newly renovated Goodman Percussion Alley.

The Goodmans have also generously given $50,000 to honor the legacy of SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus James Petercsak, for whom the Petercsak Percussion Studio will forever be named.

“Throughout his career, Scott Goodman ’79 has continued to support future generations of musicians through his mentorship, advocacy and financial support. Crane’s future is strengthened by the accomplishments of our alumni, such as Mr. Goodman, whose success is made possible through the formative mentorship that our faculty provide—faculty like Professor James Petercsak. JP has built a legacy at Crane through his more than 50 years of service. It is our honor to dedicate these spaces in recognition of these two incredibly worthy individuals,” said SUNY Potsdam President Dr. Suzanne Smith. 

Goodman is the CEO of Zoom North America. Headquartered in Japan, Zoom produces a wide array of recording devices, including a line of portable recorders, multi-effects processors, effects pedals, drum machines and samplers, to serve musicians, podcasters, filmmakers and other creative artists. Goodman has distinguished himself as a leader in the music industry, having served on the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Board of Directors, as well as receiving numerous awards in recognition of his professional accomplishments. In recognition of his many achievements, Goodman was presented with the Minerva Award from the SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association—its highest honor—in 2019. 

For more than five decades, Petercsak, who is affectionately referred to as “JP” by students and colleagues alike, led the percussion area and directed the award-winning Crane Percussion Ensemble, until his retirement this spring. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Crane Institute for Music Business. Petercsak’s students have gone on to enjoy successful careers on multiple continents, becoming educators, in-demand performers, accomplished composers, arrangers, arts administrators, advocates for the arts and executives in the music business industry.  

SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus James Petercsak (left) talks with alumnus Scott Goodman ’79 before the dedication of the Goodman Percussion Alley and Petercsak Percussion Studio.

Petercsak is the rare percussionist who is equally adept in both the classical and jazz repertoire. He has performed as orchestral timpanist and percussionist with top names such as Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, the American Symphony with Leopold Stokowski, the New York City Ballet, the Bolshoi Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre. As a jazz drummer-percussionist, Petercsak has performed during four decades with many of the great entertainers of our time, a list that includes Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughn, Liza Minelli, Dionne Warwick, Mitzi Gaynor, Tony Bennett, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Mathis, Perry Como, Liberace, The Four Seasons, The Supremes and Rosemary Clooney, among many others. 

To learn more about music business or percussion studies at The Crane School of Music, visit 

About The Crane School of Music: 

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution and was one of the first Yamaha Institutions of Excellence. For more information, please visit 

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