Howard Potter

Howard Potter

Associate Dean for Community and Continuing Education

Director of the Eastman Community Music School
Associate Professor of Jazz Mallets (pt.)
Director and Founder, Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra

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Dr. Howard Potter has served as associate dean for community and continuing education at the Eastman School of Music since 2002. As a veteran teacher and administrator, he has taught and led at the elementary, middle, high school, collegiate and community school levels. Potter has served as chair of performing arts at the Manlius Pebble Hill School in Syracuse, NY; been a member of the United States Military Academy Band in West Point, NY; performed as a freelance and Broadway musician in NYC and as a full-time travelling musician in contemporary jazz/rock ensembles.

Potter holds degrees from: SUNY Fredonia, the Eastman School of Music, the Juilliard School, and the Manhattan School of Music. His principal teachers have included: David Samuels, Fred Hinger, Buster Bailey, John Beck, Ted Frazier, Alan Dawson, 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 a part-time associate professor of jazz mallets at Eastman teaching students from both the college and community divisions. Dr. Potter has conducted numerous All County jazz ensembles as well as 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 40 years’ professional performing experience, Howard Potter has played with numerous orchestras, studio and pit orchestras and wind ensembles including the Rochester Philharmonic, 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. He is currently active as a member of the RPO Marimba Band and plays jazz vibes in a variety of Rochester and Western NY ensembles.

Dr. Potter 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 RocMusic board of advisors as well as the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and has served as 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 conversant 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.