Dr. Eric Garcia

Eric Garcia PhotoDr. Eric Garcia
Artistic Director, Oklahoma Youth Orchestras
Conductor, Oklahoma Youth Orchestra

Eric Garcia currently serves as Director of Orchestral Activities and Associate Professor of Conducting at the Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University.  He concurrently serves as Artistic Director of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestras.  Garcia previously served as Assistant Conductor of the Seattle Symphony, conducting subscription, education, pops, popular culture, seasonal, and community concerts. He served as producer for recordings on the Naxos label and conductor for Brandi Carlile’s acclaimed Columbia Records release: Live at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony.  Additionally, he collaborated with such esteemed artists as Marvin Hamlisch, Herbie Hancock, Cirque de la Symphonie, Pink Martini, The Chieftains, Assad Brothers, and Indigo Girls.  Garcia has also served as Associate Conductor of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, N.C. and cover conductor for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

This season, Garcia will appear as guest conductor with the Boise Philharmonic and Oklahoma City Ballet and Philharmonic. Garcia has served as guest conductor of the Octava Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Seattle, Philharmonia Northwest, Rainier Symphony, Northwest Festival Orchestra, Northwest Boychoir, Pacific Youth Choir, Seattle Chamber Singers and Vocalpoint Seattle.

An avid supporter of contemporary music, Garcia has conducted numerous world premieres and collaborated with such esteemed composers as John Adams, Sergio Assad, George Crumb, Frank Ferko, David Lang, Lowell Lieberman, Eric Nathan, and Jay Alan Yim.  In addition, Garcia has served as principal conductor at the Cortona Sessions for New Music in Cortona, Italy.   

As a committed advocate of music education, Garcia has served as guest conductor, speaker, and clinician for high school orchestras throughout the country.  Garcia has served as Director of Orchestral Studies and Associate Professor of Conducting at Oklahoma State University and the University of Evansville, Music Director of the Evansville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and Director of Orchestras at St. Xavier University.

Garcia was a recipient of the Bruno Walter Foundation Scholarship to attend the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where he studied with Marin Alsop. He was also a member of the American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he studied with James Conlon, Nicholas Kraemer, Murry Sidlin, Leonard Slatkin and David Zinman. At Aspen, he worked with the Susan and Ford Schumann Center for Composition Studies and the Aspen Opera Theatre Center.

His principal conducting teacher is Victor Yampolsky. Additional conducting teachers include Peter Bay, Dan Lewis, Gustav Meier, and Larry Rachleff. Garcia received a Doctorate of Music and Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University. He received a bachelor’s degree in Music Theory from the University of Texas at Austin.