The Passing of Eric Rombach-Kendall

SBO Staff • News • January 30, 2022

Eric Rombach-Kendall

UNM Professor of Music and Director of Bands Eric Rombach-Kendall has passed away. He is survived by his wife Julie Rombach-Kendall and children, Rebecca Kendall and Michael Kendall.

In an email to UNM College of Fine Arts students, staff, and faculty, interim Chair of Music, Michael Hix, announced Professor Rombach-Kendall’s death, noting, Eric was a legendary educational figure in New Mexico and across the country. His passion for his students, his love of music, and his commitment to excellence was unparalleled.

Joining the faculty in 1993, Eric served as Director of Bands at UNM. His service and leadership were recognized nationally when he was elected president of the College Band Directors National Association. His talent as a conductor was incredibly impressive, and his bands performed to great acclaim throughout the country. His list of accolades as a musician and educator are endless.

Prior to his appointment at UNM, Eric Rombach-Kendall held conducting positions at Boston University and Carleton College and taught in the public schools of Washington State. He had been a guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States and Canada and published articles in The Instrumentalist, New Mexico Musician, and Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. He served as a band director at the Interprovincial Music Camp in Canada from 1989-2007.

Professor Eric Rombach-Kendall’s bands received national acclaim through performances at the College Band Directors National Association National, an MENC National Conference, North American Saxophone Alliance, Society of Composers, Inc., and the New Mexico Music Educators Conference. He was the conductor and co-producer of five recordings with the University of New Mexico Wind Symphony on Summit Records: Fandango, featuring Philip Smith, Principal trumpet of the New York Philharmonic, and Joseph Alessi, Principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic; Illuminations, featuring Alessi; Classic Solos for Winds, featuring woodwind faculty members at The University of New Mexico; Fascinating Ribbons, and Tales of Imagination, featuring UNM horn Professor J. D. Shaw.

An advocate of contemporary music, Eric Rombach-Kendall commissioned and premiered many works for wind ensemble and concert band that have been performed by such prestigious organizations as the New York Philharmonic on Live at Lincoln Center, and the United States Marine Band (The President’s Own). He was an alumnus of the University of Puget Sound and the University of Michigan where he earned degrees in music education and wind conducting.

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