Eric Wallace

Eric Wallace specializes in bass trombone performance and musician’s health, and is equally comfortable on stage as both a performer and lecturer. His performance credits include the Odysseus Chamber Orchestra, the Milal Orchestra, Fort Worth Civic Orchestra, Pecos River Brass Band, and various ensembles throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. His premier performances include Hiver: trio for bass, bass trombone and piano by Nicolas Kaviani’s and Jake Heggie’s Ahab Symphony. He has also worked as a researcher and academic for the Texas Center for Performing Arts Health, where he has taught the Occupational Health in Music course at the University of North Texas.

Included amongst Eric's academic achievements is an epidemiological survey of the health of trombonists, the first study of its kind, published in Medical Problems of Performing Artists. Data from this survey was included in presentations at PAMA's Annual Symposium (2015) on the pain experienced by trombonists, and how personality can impact performance anxiety. He is currently focused on studying an often-discussed but little-understood performance disorder that is sometimes referred to as “valsalva maneuver”. His interest in this problem stems from having personally suffered from it in his own playing.

While working on his Bachelor’s degree in Los Angeles, Eric began experiencing a “locking-up” sensation when starting a note on his instrument. Arnold Jacobs compared this problem to the valsalva maneuver, which has become the problem's most commonly used name. Despite the help of every trombone player he could schedule a lesson with, Eric continued to suffer from this problem for almost 5 years. It wasn’t until coming to UNT to study with music performance disorder specialist Jan Kagarice that he began to actually recover his playing abilities; within 2 years he went from struggling to start a note to the bass trombonist for UNT’s symphony orchestra. Following Jan's carefully crafted methodology, Eric eliminated all traces of this problem in his trombone playing.

This experience has instilled in Eric a dedication to improve our understanding of “valsalva maneuver” and to one day develop scientifically verified treatments and preventative measures. This process starts by surveying brass musicians to understand how this problem is experienced, and developing a medically accepted name and classification to facilitate future studies. Eric presented a preliminary presentation that outlines his plans at the 2018 International Trombone Festival, the video of which is available below. He has also developed and distributed a survey that will investigate this problem in brass musicians. To participate in the survey, please follow this link.

Eric Wallace earned a bachelor’s degree in trombone performance from California State University, Northridge, and a Master’s degree in trombone performance from the University of North Texas. He currently performs and teaches low brass in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area while working to complete his DMA in trombone performance at UNT.

-His published article titled “Musculoskeletal Pain in Trombonists: Results from the UNT Trombone Health Survey” can be found on MPPA’s website.

-Eric’s ITF presentation video can be found here.

-Feel free to contact Eric with any questions at: eric.wallace@my.unt.edu.