Eric Bush joined the Penn State faculty in 2015 as Assistant Director of Athletic Bands and Jazz Studies. He is actively involved with all operations of the Marching Blue Band and volleyball, basketball, and hockey pep bands. Also a member of the conducting, jazz, and graduate faculties, Bush works with concert bands, teaches undergraduate conducting, coaches jazz combos, and directs the Inner Dimensions jazz ensemble.
From 2012-15, Bush served as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Iowa where he earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Band Conducting and published his thesis titled The History of the Big Ten Band Directors Association (1971-2015). His duties at Iowa included serving as guest conductor of the concert ensembles as well as being a staff member for the Hawkeye Marching Band and the Iowa Pep Band. He performed regularly as a trumpet player in the University of Iowa Symphony Band under the direction of Richard Mark Heidel, holding the position of principal trumpet from 2013-14. He also worked extensively with the Jazz Department at Iowa, where he played lead trumpet in Iowa’s premiere jazz big band, Johnson County Landmark, under the direction of John Rapson. He also served as director of the Jazz Repertory Ensemble. In spring 2015, Bush joined the faculty of Cornell College (Mt. Vernon, IA) as Visiting Director of Bands where he served as conductor of the wind ensemble and jazz ensemble.
Prior to his appointment at the University of Iowa, Bush served as director of bands and assistant professor at Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, NY (2008-12) where he conducted the symphonic band, jazz ensemble, and taught trumpet lessons. He also founded the S.C.C.C. Symphonic Wind Ensemble, an elite ensemble that performed for the inauguration ceremony of Suffolk’s sixth president, and which premiered the work Luminiferous Ether by faculty composer Alexander Nohai-Seaman.
Originally from Michigan, Bush earned his bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University where he studied trumpet with Dennis Horton. He holds a master’s degree in trumpet performance from the University of Montana where he served as graduate teaching assistant for bands. His primary teachers there were Steve Bolstad, Leon Slater, Kevin Griggs, and Lance Boyd. While residing in Montana, he also enjoyed a two-year appointment as third trumpet in the Missoula Symphony.
Bush is an active conductor and trumpet player in the music community. He guest conducts and adjudicates regularly, performs often in both jazz and classical settings, and maintains a private trumpet studio. From 2010-13, he served the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) as Assistant Chair for Community Colleges as part of the Small College & Community College Committee. He is also a member of the Big Ten Band Directors Association (BTBDA) and serves as faculty advisor to the Penn State collegiate chapter of the National Band Association (NBA) and the national music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.