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Reflections on Being Colleagues and Friends — Eric Shin and Jauvon Gilliam

Percussionists Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin work together at the University of Maryland and as principals in the National Symphony Orchestra. These colleagues and friends share thoughts about each other.

In Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin: Performers, Teachers and Entrepreneurs, we outlined how percussionists Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin balance teaching, performing and running their own businesses.

We asked them to share their thoughts on each other as colleagues and friends.

Eric on Jauvon

“Jauvon’s spirit is so strong. He’s the coolest dude in the world and one of the most positive people I’ve ever met in my life. I feel fortunate to have known him for some time now. He’s just so consistently positive, no matter what’s going on in his life, and I have so much respect for him and his ability to do that.

“No matter how tough times are or things get, he’s just Jauvon. He’s got that insurmountable force of positive energy. It’s truly a rare thing.

“He’s just a great, great guy. His spirit is a great reminder for me to always be positive no matter what’s going on. I’m the luckiest guy in the world that I get to work next to him almost every day.”

Jauvon on Eric

“Eric is a great colleague, a great musician and my closest friend in D.C. We have similar teaching styles. I love how driven he is and how smart he is with managing his time. He’s just very intelligent. Period.

“The greatest thing I learned from Eric is how he deals with conflict: resolving it quickly in the easiest, most thorough way. I want to resolve it thoroughly, too, but I have no problem engaging, and that doesn’t always work out well. Eric’s smart about reverse-engineering to get a result that is most advantageous.

“We both want to make each other look good, which is why we work together so well on stage. When one of us makes a mistake, we’re both really quick to say, ‘My bad.’ When something’s wrong, we look internally first, not looking to lay the blame at someone else’s feet.”

photo by Rob Shanahan for Yamaha Corporation of America 


This article originally appeared in the 2019 V2 issue of Yamaha SupportED. To see more back issues, find out about Yamaha resources for music educators, or sign up to be notified when the next issue is available, click here.

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