ROCHESTER, NY The Eastman School of Music recently appointed Howard Potter as its new associate dean for community and continuing education. In this faculty position, Potter assumes overall leadership for the School’s Community Education Division (CED), effective July 1. He also will have studio and classroom teaching responsibilities.
Potter’s career has showcased his great versatility as a musician. A music educator, performer, conductor, composer, and arranger, he has served since 1995 as the chairperson of the performing arts department and director of instrumental music (grades 3-12) at The Manlius Pebble Hill School, a private, independent, K-12, college-prep school outside of Syracuse. In addition, he is the founder and director of the 315 All-Stars of Greater Syracuse (first-place winners of the 2001 Essentially Ellington High School Band Competition at Lincoln Center), and founder of the Saturday Jazz School, a special program in jazz theory, history, and performance for middle- and upper-school instrumentalists in the Syracuse region. Prior to those experiences, Potter was as a high school band director (1993-95), founder and director of the West Point Youth Orchestra (summers, 1990-93), and conductor of several bands and ensembles at the United States Military Academy at West Point (1985-93). He also was a member of the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra (1975-80) and the National Orchestral Association at Carnegie Hall (1982-85).
Potter received his bachelor’s degree from SUNY Fredonia in 1979, his master’s degree from Eastman (studying percussion with John Beck) in 1982, and his doctoral degree from the Manhattan School of Music in 1987. Additionally, he received a post-graduate diploma from the Juilliard School in 1982, and earned an associate’s degree in computer science. He has performed extensively as a percussionist in numerous jazz, classical, and contemporary groups and ensembles. He also has composed and/or arranged works for solo marimba, percussion ensemble, orchestra, as well as jazz and chamber ensembles. He currently serves on the executive board of the Onondaga County Music Educators Association, while his other professional affiliations include membership in the National Music Educators National Conference (MENC), New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), the Percussive Arts Society, and the International Association of Jazz Educators.
"It’s a privilege and honor to serve at Eastman," said Potter. "It’s a school with a unique legacy marked by its cultural, artistic, and community contributions."
Founded in 1921 by Eastman Kodak Company founder George Eastman, the Eastman School of Music is recognized internationally as one of the top music schools in the world. Since its inception, the Community Education Division has been an integral part of the School, offering music instruction and programs of the highest level to people of all ages, from toddlers to seniors. It also offers a comprehensive and rigorous diploma program for pre-collegiate students and certificate program for adult students. Currently, the CED serves approximately 1,200 students in the Rochester community. For more information or to view its offerings, visit www.rochester.edu/Eastman/ced.