PAS Recent News

Percussive Arts Society Acquires One-of-a-Kind Billy Gladstone Drum Set

Feb 3, 2022, 12:07 PM by Percussive Arts Society
Acquisition, funded by the generosity of David and Colette Wood, will form centerpiece of new exhibit.

(INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA) — The Percussive Arts Society (PAS) is excited to announce the acquisition of Saul Beimel’s drum set built by Billy Gladstone, made possible by a gift from David and Colette Wood.

Gladstone made only four complete drum sets, with only two still in existence, and this set is the finest known example. The set consists of a 14x22 bass drum, 9x13 tom, 16x16 floor tom and 6x14 snare drum, The set is finished in a silver sparkle wrap and the toms and bass drum have wood hoops with matching silver sparkle inlays.The snare drum is constructed with the same patented three-way tuning system invented by Gladstone and used on all of the snare drums he built. The set was owned by noted Billy Gladstone expert, Chet Falzerano.

“Billy Gladstone was a giant in the drumming world in which many of my heroes, teachers and mentors came of age”, said David Wood. I was lucky to have learned of his legacy first hand from some of those that knew him.  Colette and I are thrilled that Billy Gladstone’s life and work will be available for students and scholars to see, study and appreciate for years to come. We would like to thank Joshua Simonds and the Percussive Art Society for providing a home for this kit and for their work in the preservation of the history of our chosen instrument and are honored to be involved in the creation of this exhibit and hope that we can bring to life the story of Gladstone and the artists and craftsmen that were inspired by his greatness.”

PAS has been actively collecting percussion instruments and materials relating to the history and study of percussion since 1981. These instruments are on display at the Rhythm! Discovery Center in Indianapolis, IN, and many can also be viewed online.

“I am so grateful to David and Colette for their generosity and for this historic donation and look forward to making it open for all to see and learn from.” Joshua Simonds, Executive Director, PAS.

The drum set will be the centerpiece of the new David and Colette Wood - Billy Gladstone Exhibit that will open at the Rhythm! Discovery Center in 2022, which will also feature snare drums, other instruments, and memorabilia from the percussionist known for his work at Radio City Music Hall in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as his carefully constructed and innovative snare drums.

To learn more about PAS’s instrument collection, or how you can get involved in supporting The Percussive Arts Society, visit

Billy Gladstone Kit

About The Percussive Arts Society (PAS)

The Percussive Arts Society has more than 5,000 members and nearly 70  chapters located throughout the United States and abroad. The Percussive Arts Society is the world’s largest percussion organization and is considered the central source for information and networking for percussionists and drummers of all ages. Established in 1961 as a non-profit, music service organization, our mission is to inspire, educate, and support percussionists and drummers throughout the world. Founded in 2009, the Rhythm! Discovery Center is the world’s only interactive drum and percussion museum. Rhythm! features unique, interactive exhibits highlighting a rich collection of historic artifacts and hands-on percussion instruments and serves as the definitive place where the history of percussion is preserved, celebrated, and shared. Dynamic exhibits feature instruments from leading percussionists and promote the understanding of percussion and its role in world cultures through interactive educational experiences.

To learn more about The Percussive Arts Society, visit

For media inquiries, please contact:

Joshua Simonds 

Contact Us

Percussive Arts Society
127 E. Michigan Street Suite 600
Indianapolis, IN 46204
T: (317) 974-4488
F: (317) 974-4499