Howard Potter

Howard Potter

Associate Dean for Community and Continuing Education

Director of the Eastman Community Music School
Collegiate and ECMS Instructor in Jazz Mallets
Director and Founder, Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra

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Dr. Howard Potter has served as associate dean for community and continuing education since 2002. As a veteran teacher and administrator, he has taught and led at the elementary, middle, high school, collegiate and community levels. Before coming to Eastman, Potter served as chair of performing arts at the Manlius Pebble Hill School in Syracuse, NY. He holds degrees from: SUNY Fredonia, the Eastman School of Music, the Juilliard School, and the Manhattan School of Music. His teachers have included: David Samuels, Alan Dawson, Fred Hinger, Buster Bailey, John Beck, Ted Frazier, and Alfredo Roel.

Besides leading the Eastman Community Music School and serving on the ESM senior staff, Potter conducts several jazz ensembles, teaches jazz theory, and is an instructor of jazz mallets at Eastman. Potter has conducted numerous All County jazz ensembles including Monroe County, as well as numerous orchestras, wind ensembles and chamber ensembles at the high school, college and professional levels. While a professional musician in the West Point Band, Potter founded the West Point Youth Orchestra.

With over 25 years’ professional performing experience, Howard Potter has played with numerous orchestras, pit orchestras and wind ensembles including the Rochester Philharmonic (extra), the Erie Philharmonic, the National Orchestral Association at Carnegie Hall, several Off Broadway theater companies and over eight years with the United States Military Academy Band at West Point. Before attending college, he spent 5 years playing full time on the road with a number of contemporary rock/jazz ensembles. He currently is a member of the RPO Marimba Band and plays jazz vibes in various Rochester ensembles.

Dr. Potter is director of three nationally recognized programs: Eastman Pathways – a scholarship program for students from the inner city school district of Rochester, the ECMS summer program, and the Rochester New Horizons program. He has served on the executive board of the Onondaga County Music Educators Association (1998-2002), the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra board of advisors (2003-08) and on the board of advisors for the Society for New Music in Syracuse, NY (1997 – 01). He is currently a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and Chair of the Eastern Great Lakes Chapter of the National Guild.

Howard Potter is married and the father of three children. The son of a career US diplomat, Potter grew up in Tunisia, Ghana, Argentina, Brazil, and Washington, DC, and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. Next to being a husband and father, his greatest source of pride is being a teacher and sharing his love of music with his students.