Location: Nebraska, USA
Dr. Eric Richards is the Associate Professor of Composition and Jazz Studies at the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At UNL, he mentors first-year through doctoral students in applied composition (classical and jazz/vernacular styles), teaches related courses such as Orchestration and Jazz Arranging, and directs the award-winning UNL Jazz Orchestra.
Dr. Richards’ work as a teacher is energized and informed by his professional activity as a composer/arranger, conductor, and trombonist. A composer who defines himself as a “contemporary American eclectic”, he has written music for groups ranging from rural high school marching bands to chamber music ensembles to nationally recognized big bands and symphony orchestras.
Eric’s music has been heard worldwide in performances and recordings by ensembles such as:
• National Symphony Orchestra
• Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
• Boston Pops Orchestra
• Chiara String Quartet
• US Army Field Band and Jazz Ambassadors
• USAF Band and the Airmen of Note
• University of Nebraska-Lincoln Jazz Orchestra, Wind Ensemble , and Symphony Orchestra
• University of Northern Colorado Jazz Lab Band I
• Lamont Jazz Orchestra of the University of Denver
• Shanghai Conservatory of Music Jazz Ensemble
• 2013 Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra
• University of North Texas Wind Ensemble
Performances in major concert venues across the United States, Europe, Asia and India include: Berlin Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall (New York), St. Peter’s Church (New York), the Midwest Clinic (Chicago) and the Montreux, Nice, North Sea, and Vienne Jazz Festivals.
As a conductor and clinician, Eric has worked in a broad array of settings ranging from live concerts of jazz, concert, and chamber music to professional recording sessions.
He recently served as Guest Conductor/Composer-Arranger of the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Jazz Orchestra, an ensemble comprised of select undergraduate musicians from colleges and universities along the Eastern Seaboard. Eric led this group in performances of his music in New York City and Cumberland, Md. In recent years he served as Guest Conductor for the North Dakota, Connecticut, and South Dakota All-State High School Jazz Ensembles.
In March 2006, Eric was chosen as one of an international group of seven composers to present an original work for jazz orchestra at the 1st International Jazz Composition Symposium held at the University of South Florida. Recent engagements as a guest composer, conductor and teacher include residencies at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Taipei Jazz Orchestra, Winona State University, and the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra of Denver, Colo.
As a trombonist, he has performed with numerous ensembles: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Faculty Jazz Ensemble, US Army Jazz Ambassadors, US Army Field Band, Omaha Jazz Orchestra, Nebraska Jazz Orchestra, the Washington DC–based Klezmer group Lox & Vodka, and numerous commercial and variety bands. As a conductor, he has shared the stage with artists such as Clay Jenkins, Ingrid Jensen, Christine Jensen, and Bill Watrous.
From 1984 – 2004, Eric served as Composer/Arranger with the United States Army Field Band, the Army’s premiere touring musical organization based near Washington DC. In this position, he created music for an array of media across multiple styles performed for audiences worldwide. He honorably retired as a decorated Senior Non-Commissioned Officer at the rank of Master Sergeant (E-8).
Eric earned the Doctor of Musical Arts (Composition) degree from the University of Maryland at College Park and Master of Music (Composition) and Bachelor of Science (Music Education) degrees from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He resides in Saunders County, Nebraska with his wife Lanelle and sons Josiah, Heath, Logan, and Gabriel. For more information on Eric’s music, please visit http://www.ericrichards.com