In Memoriam – Professor Eric Rombach-Kendall

Photo of Eric Rombach-Kendall

We were saddened to hear of the death on January 25, 2022 of Eric Rombach-Kendall, Professor of Music at the University of New Mexico, where he had served as Director of Bands since 1993. Prior to his appointment at UNM, Mr. Rombach-Kendall held conducting positions at Boston University and Carleton College and taught in the Washington State Public Schools for six years.

From New Mexico Pageant of Bands President Vicky Harms:

“Many of your band directors have studied under Professor Rombach-Kendall. Some of your children may have had him as a guest conductor, as band directors would invite him to work with their bands as they prepared their concert music, and some may have had him as their Honor Band conductor. His wife, Julie is an Albuquerque Public Schools Elementary Music Teacher, so your children may have had her as their music teacher during their years.”

Michael Hix, Interim Chair of the Department of Music at the University of New Mexico stated in an email to UNM students:

“Dear Students,

This is likely the most difficult email I have written. It is with profound sadness and grief that I share that Professor Eric Rombach-Kendall passed away last night. 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. Eric served as Director of Bands at UNM since 1993. His service and leadership was recognized nationally when he was elected President of the College Band Directors National Association from 2011-2013. His talent as a conductor was incredibly impressive and his bands performed to great acclaim across the country. His list of accolades as a musician and educator are endless.

On a personal note, I truly admired Eric’s dependable, thoughtful, straightforward leadership. As many of you, I truly looked up to him and knew that If I had a problem he had my back. He was always incredibly supportive. He is irreplaceable and will be deeply missed by his friends, colleagues, and mentees/students here at UNM.

Please keep his wife Julie, and children Rebecca and Michael in your thoughts and prayers.

Michael Hix, D.M. (he/him/his)
Interim Chair, Dept. of Music
Associate Professor of Voice
University of New Mexico”

Indeed, he will be missed!

Read more from the UNM Newsroom.