Eric Despard, MM

adjunct faculty and music director, the hunter division of humanities


  • Master of Music, Yale School of Music, Yale University, 1994
  • Bachelor of Music, Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford, 1992 

Teaching experience

  • Affiliate Artist-classical guitar, Middlebury College, 2007-present
  • Part-time Faculty, Southern Vermont College, 2001-present
  • Instructor of Guitar, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, 2001-present


  • Music Appreciation
  • Fundamentals of Music (Music Theory)
  • History of Rock and Roll
  • Jazz History
  • World Music
  • Women in Music
  • Music Through Guitar
  • Quest for Success 
  • "Ways of Seeing" course component

Research interests

Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.
I have struggled my whole life as a musician to find JUST one area of research. I have an unquenchable sense of curiosity and seek out ways to grow not only as a musician but as a human being. Whether it's building a deck, running a music school, or learning a new piece of music, it all begins with research. Lately, my interests are driven by circumstances. If I am asked to play a jazz concert or teach a jazz class, my focus becomes jazz. It takes over for a while and then some other opportunity pops up. I'm currently preparing a solo classical guitar program that explores stylized dances throughout the guitar repertoire.


I've performed concerts throughout North America including recitals at Yale University, Rutgers University, Mount Holyoke College and various jazz, rock and blues clubs.


The Latin Guitar: Solo Guitar, Live at the Bennington Museum
Bebop, Blues Bossa, and Beyond, jazz guitar and bass with pianist Michelle Labieniec.

Why I teach

Every time I walk into a classroom I learn as much from the students as I teach  to them. I enjoy the journey of discovery and educational exploration. It is an amazing experience to relate information about all aspects of great music, musicians and the communities and societies that influence and shape them. Making connections to multiple disciplines in both an historical and contemporary context is very exciting to me.

Favorite Book

Too many to list, but I enjoy nonfiction books about science, history, philosophy, biographies, and of course books about music and art. I like the fact that these tales are real and that most lives are far more fantastic and unbelievable than any author could imagine.

Favorite Movie

This is Spinal Tap.

Best part of being at SVC

I enjoy working with the diverse student body at SVC, and the faculty and staff are terrific! There's a real sense of place and community.


April 2012 - Performed at the Middlebury Bach Festival - accompanied the New York Baroque Dance Company. Also played solo with selections from Bach's Lute, Violin, and Cello works.