The recipient of the 2018-2019 Carlisle High School Band Distinguished Alumnus Award is Mr. Eric L. Henry, Carlisle High School Class of 1972.
Tubist Eric L. Henry was born in Chambersburg, PA; by the time he was in high school, Eric was a dedicated tubist. He was a member of the famed Carlisle High School band, under the direction of Clyde Barr, graduating in 1972. Eric attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania as a tuba and voice major; leaving to enlist, and join the 19th Army Band at Fort Dix, NJ. Thereafter, Eric enrolled at Mansfield University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music and met his wife, trombone and music education major, Carol. Eric and Carol moved back to his childhood town of Carlisle, PA, and Eric won the principal tubist chair in the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra in May, 1984. Eric has been honored to study with Clyde Barr at Carlisle High School, Gary Bird at IUP, Donald Stanley at Mansfield University, three years with David Fedderly of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and with the legendary Arnold Jacobs. He is the founder of two performance traditions in Carlisle: ‘Octubafest’, which featured low brass ensembles, and the ‘Grand Sousa Concert’, which combines many local bands for a concert which pays tribute to John Phillip Sousa.
Alongside serving as principal tubist, Eric is a member of the HSO Education Committee. He also serves as President of the Harrisburg Musical Association, American Federation of Musicians Local 269, and has published many works for tuba and euphonium ensembles. Eric performs with three Central Pennsylvania orchestras, Harrisburg, York and Lancaster Symphonies and various brass ensembles. Eric is adjunct faculty at Susquehanna University, Messiah College, and Millersville University. Eric has been performing with jazz trio Hot House since its founding in 1978, including a tour of six countries in the Middle East in 1999 as Jazz Ambassadors for the U.S. Department of State. Eric, often in conjunction with Hot House, conducts workshops with students on improvisation and musicianship.
Eric is also active in the Episcopal Church with a focus in children’s ministry, and holds a Master of Arts in Christian Formation; he was ordained as a Deacon September 30, 2018. He enjoys the exploration of Native American cultures, plays Native American flute and sings on the Southern Heart drum and does Native American cultural presentations. Eric lives in Carlisle with his wife Carol and son Hudson. His daughter, Grace, is married and living in Annapolis, MD.