El Dorado High School, and California State University - Fullerton
Eric Samson is the Director of Instrumental Music at El Dorado High School in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District. He has been involved with the El Dorado Band and Color Guard since 2004. He spent 3 years as a percussion instructor, followed by 3 years as the Assistant Band Director and is currently in his first year as Director of Instrumental Music. His duties include Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and Class Guitar. In his time at El Dorado, his groups have performed in the 2005 and 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade, have earned numerous Superior Ratings at festivals, and were named the 2004 6A SCSBOA Field Tournament Champions. Most recently, the El Dorado Drum Line and Color Guard were part of the opening act of the 122nd Tournament of Roses Parade viewed by millions world-wide on January 1, 2011. He also holds an Adjunct Faculty position at California State University, Fullerton where he teaches applied music in the area of percussion studies and consistently holds Afro-Latin percussion clinics in the music department.
Eric gained valuable experience in the marching band activity while being a member of the world-renowned Riverside Community College Marching Tigers under the direction of Gary Locke. He was a member of the snare line for four years and was instructed by Dave Glyde, Matt Altmire, Roger Carter, Jeff Lee and Paul Locke. He was also a member of the RCC Wind Ensemble and began his classical percussion studies with Steven Schmidt. After transferring to CSU, Fullerton, he obtained his B.A. in Instrumental Music Education and California Teaching Credential and is completing his M.M. in Afro-Latin Music at CSU, Los Angeles. As a student of percussion, he has studied concert percussion with Todd Miller and Judy Chilnick, Afro-latin percussion with Robert Fernandez and Luis Conte, and drum set with Steve Houghton and Raul Pineda. In 2003, Eric was a participant of the Henry Mancini Institute and performed with the HMI Orchestra until operations ceased in 2006. While performing with HMI, he had the opportunity to share the stage with artists such as Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Stevie Wonder, Michael Buble, Vinnie Colaiuta, Arturo Sandoval, Alex Acuna, and Bill Cunliffe.
Eric is a member of the Southern California Scholastic Band and Orchestra Association, California Band Directors Association, and the Percussive Arts Society and continues to be a freelance percussionist, percussion arranger, and clinician. He continues to perform with “The Dan Vu Trio” jazz trio and will be resurrecting his Latin jazz band, “Indigenous Soul”.