As a composer, Eric Near has written music for orchestra, chamber groups, and church choirs. A fourth-generation musician, he has been surrounded by song since an early age. Eric studied music theory and composition at Marshall University, finishing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music in 2004. A multi-instrumentalist, Eric specializes in voice, brass, and keyboard instruments, and maintains an interest in most other instruments. In 2011, Eric collaborated with the Nashville Composer’s Association in a concert of original works for accordion and orchestra, featuring composer, arranger and performer Jeff Lisenby.
In Nashville, Eric has served as a musician with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, Music City Community Chorus, New Cumberland Choir, First Presbyterian Church, and Downtown Presbyterian Church.
As a songwriter, Eric Near’s roots are found in his influences: The Beatles, Barenaked Ladies, and They Might Be Giants are examples of artists who have shaped Eric’s vision of what a song should be made from.
From writing simple tunes in high school to playing for friends, Eric honed his skills as a member of Crossing Jordan, a contemporary Christian acoustic group which he formed with 3 of his friends in 1998. Performing and serving in an intimate setting, Eric drew influences from Christian artists like Andrew Peterson, Chris Rice, and Michael W. Smith.
As Eric entered college and began to study the inner workings of music, he discovered a rich harmonic world full of tools to forge new directions in his songwriting.
Eric still joins with his old friends in Crossing Jordan for an occasional collaboration and brings a wealth of musical knowledge to the table when working with other writers.