Heralded as a "talented classical guitarist" by the Times of Trenton, guitarist Eric Despard performs extensively throughout North America as a soloist and with various chamber ensembles. His dynamic solo concert programs include "The Latin Guitar" featuring Spanish, Latin and South American guitar composers, "World Guitar" featuring music and transcriptions of composers from around the world, and traditional programs which feature the works by composers from the classical canon. In addition to solo classical guitar concerts, Eric regularly performs with various jazz and blues groups throughout the Northeast. His passion for accessible community music and arts education led to a five year position as the Executive Director of the Bennington Music School and additional involvement consulting for non-profit community arts schools and programs.
Eric holds and undergraduate degree from the Hartt School of Music and a graduate degree from the Yale School of Music. He has taught guitar at the Turtle Bay Music School, Rutgers Community Music Program, the Westminster Conservatory, the Bennington Music School, and the Community College of Vermont. Eric is currently an affiliate artist at Middlebury College and an instructor of guitar at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He is also part time faculty at Southern Vermont College where he teaches music history, music theory, concert jazz band, and related performance classes. Students from his private studio have been accepted to the Boston Conservatory, Crane School of Music, Ithaca College, William Patterson University, the University of Vermont, and the Berkelee College of Music.