Dr. Eric Willie has joined the School of Music as Director of Percussion Studies & Assistant Professor of Percussion. Described as a “true musical talent and professional” (Ivan Trevino, Composer), Dr. Willie has a varied career as a solo performer,
chamber musician, orchestral player, arranger, and teacher. He has performed in Carnegie Hall, at several Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, and on regional live broadcasts, such as Nashville’s NPR Station “Live in Studio C.”
Dr. Willie regularly performs with the Nief-Norf Project and the Legal Wood Project. He has performed at the Big Ears Music Festival, seven Percussive Arts Society International Conventions (PASIC), the Nashville Symphony’s OnStage series, multiple Eastern Trombone Workshops, the Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival, the World Saxophone Congress, and the Music for All National Percussion Festival. As an orchestral musician, Willie has performed as a percussionist with the Nashville Symphony, Nashville Ballet Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, Murfreesboro Symphony, Bryan Symphony, and the Beloit/Janesville Symphony.
An avid promoter of new music for percussion, Eric recently commissioned and performed the world premiere of “Flow,” by Ivan Trevino at the 2013 Percussive Arts Society’s International Convention. Prior, Dr, Willie performed the world premiere of John Mackey’s “Drum Music” (2011), a concerto for solo percussion and wind ensemble. In addition, Eric has commissioned and/or premiered works by Christopher Adler, Doug Bristol, Greg Danner, Christopher Deane, Paul Lansky, Marc Mellits, Leroy Osmon, John Psathas, D.J. Sparr, Blake Tyson, Alejandro Viñao, Matt Walker, and James Wood.
Active within the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), Eric currently serves as Chair of the International Percussion Ensemble Committee. In addition, Eric has served as President and Vice-President for the Tennessee Chapter of PAS, and as a New Literature and Recordings Reviewer for Percussive Notes journal.
In addition to his talents as a classical percussionist, Dr. Willie is known for his marching percussion arranging and teaching experience. He has served as a Percussion Consultant with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, and instructor and/or arranger for the Spirit, Southwind, Carolina Crown, and the Madison Scouts drum and bugle corps. The University of North Texas, University of Kentucky, and the Murray State University Drum Lines have performed his marching percussion arrangements. He has also instructed for the University of North Texas “A” Line, Music City Mystique, and as Faculty for the Music for All World Percussion Symposium.
As a clinician, Dr. Willie has appeared at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, IL, several “Days of Percussion,” as well as several state music educators conventions throughout the midwest and southeastern United States. His educational articles have appeared in The Instrumentalist and Percussive Notes, and he has contributed educational resources to Innovative Percussion, Inc., Sabian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, and Black Swamp Percussion. His music has been published by Innovative Percussion and TapSpace publications.
Eric holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas, a Master of Music from the University of Kentucky, and a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Austin Peay State University. Eric and his wife, Rebecca (violinist with the Nashville Symphony), will be moving to Greensboro, NC prior to the start of the fall semester with their son and daughter.