Eric Richards Series
ERIC RICHARDS, a native of Pittsburgh, is a versatile composer/arranger, conductor, trombonist and educator active in a wide range of musical media and genres. As 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:
• The US Army Field Band and Jazz Ambassadors
• The USAF Band and the Airmen of Note
• The US Army Band (Pershing's Own) and the Army Blues
• The US Marine Band (The President's Own)
• The US Navy Band and the Navy Commodores
• The USAF Brass in Blue (Offutt AFB) with guest soloist Joseph Alessi (NY Philharmonic)
• The National Symphony Orchestra
• The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
• The Boston Pops
• The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Jazz Orchestra and Wind Ensemble
• The University of North Texas Wind Ensemble
• The University of Northern Colorado Jazz Lab Band I directed by Gene Aitken
• The nationally recognized Hall High School Concert Jazz Band (West Hartford, CT)
In April 2008, Dr. Richards was appointed to the Composition and Jazz Studies faculty of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) School of Music. At UNL, Eric works alongside first-year through doctoral students in applied composition (classical and jazz/vernacular styles), related courses (e.g., Orchestration and Jazz Arranging), and directs the award-winning UNL Jazz Orchestra. He also oversees the UNL Jazz Writers Group – a team of student composer-arrangers now in their 3rd year of producing concerts of new music for jazz orchestra.
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 has led numerous ensembles in performances, recordings, rehearsals, and clinics. In March 2006, Eric was chosen as one of an international group of 7 composers to present an original work for jazz orchestra at the 1st International Jazz Composition Symposium held at the University of South Florida.
Eric’s work as a composer/arranger and trombonist has been heard at the Montreux, Vienne, North Sea, and Nice Jazz Festivals in Europe and in performances across the United States, Europe, Asia and India. He has shared the stage with artists such as Bob Brookmeyer, Dave Liebman, Joe Morello, Jim Pugh, Ben Vereen, Jack Jones, and The Fifth Dimension.
In 1999, Eric’s 25-minute retrospective of the music of Duke Ellington for symphony orchestra and big band, An Ellington Centennial Portrait, was premiered by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the US Army Jazz Ambassadors under the direction of Marvin Hamlisch. This piece was subsequently performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City by the National Symphony Orchestra and the Jazz Ambassadors and has since been performed by numerous major orchestras across the United States. In 2004, he honorably retired as from two decades of service as Composer/Arranger with The United States Army Field Band (the Army’s primary touring musical organization) based near Washington DC.
Eric holds the Doctor of Musical Arts (Composition) degree from The University of Maryland at College Park where he studied with Mark Wilson and Robert Gibson, and earned the Master of Music (Composition) degree from Duquesne University where he studied with John Wilson and Joseph Wilcox Jenkins.
Eric resides in Saunders County, Nebraska with his wife Lanelle and sons Gabriel, Logan, Christian, and Josiah.
A regularly commissioned composer-arranger, Eric is available to answer inquiries regarding commissions. Please note that his production schedule develops as much as two years in advance. To inquire about commissions, please contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org.