Eric Whitmer is a percussionist, musicologist, arts administrator and photographer. Growing up in rural northern California, they got their start in music taking piano lessons from their grandmother. When that didn’t stick, Eric began playing percussion through the Orff approach to music education at Redding School of the Arts.

eric whitmer

As a percussionist, Eric has played all over the country including Tanglewood, the National Museum of African American Music, the National Gallery of Arts, Davies Symphony Hall, and in a canoe in the middle of Lake Dunmore. Specializing in contemporary chamber music, Eric has worked with a wide variety of ensembles, including as an ensemble-in-residence at the Cortona Sessions for New Music at Florida State University. They have given concerto performances with both the North State Symphony, and the Shasta Symphony Orchestra. A frequent commissioner and performer of new works, Eric has commissioned works by Kristian de Leon, Stan Link, Josh McGuire, Brian Ellis, and Madeline Merwin.

eric whitmer

Eric is a profound believer in the power of music to tell stories and create empathy between disparate groups of people. Recent projects within this ideal include the commissioning of We Breathe Together by Kristian de Leon,a piece in memory of victims of conversion therapy, performances of Parkland by Marc Mellits, a work in memory of victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, and a through-composed recital adressing survivorship of sexual violence. Eric works to curate and perform events that put music and topics of social justice on the same stage. Recently, Eric curated a series of events surrounding the history of HIV/AIDS to coincide with the Vanderbilt Orchestra’s performance of John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1. They initiated a PrEP drive in partnership with Music City PrEP and a panel discussion bringing together experts in queer history, doctors, and ethicists to discuss HIV/AIDS.

eric whitmer

Within their career in arts administration, Eric has worked for organizations like Sō Percussion, the Engine for Art, Democracy, and Justice, Southern California Marimba, North State Symphony, Vanderbilt University, the Redding Performing Arts Society, and Susie Ibarra’s studio. Upcoming projects include a recital documenting and performing queer contributions to dance music and a recording of Life Sentences a work written for Eric by Stan Link.

eric whitmer

Eric will graduate from Vanderbilt University in May of 2023, with a degree in Percussion Performance, minoring in Business with a concentration in Musicology. While at Vanderbilt, Eric was recognized as a Dean’s Honor Scholar and has received the Littlejohn Research Fellowship for their research about the American Orchestra. They are also the inaugural research fellow and ambassador for the Engine for Art, Democracy, and Justice. Eric’s teachers and mentors include Jake Nissly, Jon Bisessi, Ji Hye Jung, Dr. Dwayne Corbin, Dr. Melanie Lowe, Dr. Robert Fry, Dr. Rebecca Epstein-Levi, Mitchell Korn, and Robin Fountain, amongst many others.


"32-44,000 Ft." By Kristian de Leon

"Parkland" By Marc Mellits

"Life Sentences" By Stan Link

Professional Recording Coming in Spring 2022


"We Breathe Together" By Kristian de Leon

Professional Recording Coming in Spring 2022

"Sacrament" By Mario Diaz de Leon

"Water Wine Brandy Brine" By Viet Cuong

"Death Wish" By Gemma Peacocke

Comission Amy Beth Kirsten's New Marimba Solo

eric whitmer

Join in on comissioning Amy Beth Kirsten as she begins to write her second solo for marimba. A recipient of artist fellowships from the John S. Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, Kirsten has been comissioned by Sandbox Percussion, eighth blackbird, and Alarm Will Sound. Her first marimba solo, "Empty Shell Girl" was released in 2020 by Mike Compitello.

Following in a similar vein of her first solo, Kirsten is interested in continuing to explore the sonic possibilities of the instrument in this new solo. The work will be 8 minuted in duration and will be composed for solo 5.0 octave marimba. Through this consortium there is a two-tierd pricing scheme to allow for a student discount.

For Students*


Eric will be in touch after payment requesting verification of student status.

For Professionals


philomel's song

philomel's song: hearing sexual violence survivorshiop

(click on the poster to save the date)

“philomel’s song” is a through-composed recital curated and performed by Eric Whitmer. Envisioned as an opportunity for healing and collective awareness on the first day of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the recital uses the myth of Philomel from Greek/Roman mythology to speak to the effects of sexual violence survivorship on survivors' relationships and their ability to communicate with others.

eric whitmer

Performing works by Alejandra Viñao, Brian Ellis, Osvaldo Golijov, Pauline Oliveros, and Evan Williams, “philomel’s song” tells Eric’s own experiences with surviving sexual violence and its effect on their relationship to musical performance. This recital is presented in partial fulfillment of the degree requirements of the Bachelor’s in Music in Percussion Performance degree at the Blair School of Music.



  • "We Breathe Together" by Kristian de Leon

    For Chamber Strings and Percussion

  • "Life Sentences" by Stan Link

    For Solo Percussion with Spoken Voice

  • "Time Study" by Carlos Meyers

    For Flute, Clarinet, and Percussion

  • "Saphic Fragments" by Ben Stanley

    For Flute, Clarinet, and Marimba

  • "behind schedule over budget" by Jeremy Davalos

    For Flute, Clarinet, and Percussion

  • "32-44,000 Ft." by Kristian de Leon

    For Marimba and Playback

  • "bloom" by Hannah Boissonneault

    For Vibraphone and Fixed Media

  • "Notorious" by Madeline Merwin

    For Marimba and Fixed Media

  • "I go to prepare a place for you" by Steph Davis

    For Solo Marimba

  • "Divertimento for Marimba and Violin" by Dwayne Corbin

    For Violin and Marimba (Also arranged for Vibraphone and Marimba)


  • 12/12/22 San Francisco Girls Chorus, Davies Symphony Hall. Premeired Susie Ibarra's "Dreaming Horizon"
  • 10/10/22 Contemporary Music Ensemble, Blair School of Music. Premeired Kristian de Leon's "We Breathe Together"
  • 10/11/22 Living Sounds, Blair School of Music. Premeired Stan Link's "Life Sentences"
  • 4/30/22 When We Gather, National Gallery of Art. Drummer for performance art installation.
  • 1/14/22 Perspectives, Redding Performing Arts Society. Curator and performer.
  • 7/21/22 SōSI at Princeton Library, Princeton Library. Premeired "32-44,000 Ft." by Kistian de Leon.
  • 4/15/21 Contemporary Music Ensemble, National Museum of African American Music, Nashville TN. Innagural performance of their concert hall.
  • 2/19 North State Symphony, Redding and Chico, CA. Performed "Ney Rosauro's Concerto No. 1 for Marimba and String Orchestra"
  • 11/17 Strings and Percussion Things, Northern California. Grant Writer and performer for concert and educational engagement tour. Premeired Dwayne Corbin's "Divertimento for Violin and Marimba"