Fellowship Awards 2007
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Eric Banks (Seattle) was born and raised in the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. He received his BA in composition from Yale University and studied orchestral conducting with Alasdair Neale, choral conducting with Marguerite Brooks, and composition with Fenno Heath. Eric then moved to Seattle to study at the University of Washington’s School of Music. His musical interests have always been international in scope with a particular fascination for new and undiscovered composition for voices.
Since returning to Seattle from an academic fellowship in Sweden, he has been able to combine his love of music, poetry, classical civilization, foreign language, religious history, and astronomy to compose several works for a cappella chorus. Eric teaches musicianship, voice, composition, and music theory at Cornish College of the Arts, and he is the director of ÆDONIS, an a cappella men’s ensemble that focuses on performing the music of gay and lesbian poets and composers. His upcoming projects include a Sanskrit hymn to Saraswati and a cantata based on ancient Zoroastrian chants, for which Eric was awarded a grant from 4Culture and the Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs CityArtists Award.
As part of his Fellowship’s Meet the Artist requirements, Eric gave a performance at the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park to a crowd of approximately 250! The Esoterics’ repertoire provides an enriching audience experience, with strong, emotional contrasts and diverse subject matter. The surround-sound a cappella opera they performed focused on the seven creations, based on the ancient Persian creation story and employing ancient Persian chants.