Hammer family donates beloved professor’s instrument to conservatory

Eric Hammer with Bette Stover of the Valley Concert Band

Eric Hammer with Amanda Cariati '16 of the Valley Concert Band.

An addition to the instrument inventory at University of the Pacific’s Conservatory of Music has deep sentimental and artistic value.

The family of the late Dr. Eric Hammer '73, beloved director of bands and professor of music education, has donated Hammer’s personal Bb compensating euphonium to the conservatory.

Professor Hammer died unexpectedly in January 2019.

While the instrument is valued at almost $5,000, there truly can be no price tag on this meaningful gift from Pat Hammer, his wife. 

“The years I spent as one of Dr. Hammer’s students at Pacific, and later as a friend and colleague, helped shape me into the person and teacher I am today,” said Vu Nguyen, ’00, Pacific’s new director of bands. “He not only taught his students about music, but through music, he showed us the importance of community, caring for one another and how to always see the positive in everyone and in every situation. 
“At the end of our conversations over the years, he would send his love to my family and always add, ‘Let me know how I can help.’ The gift of his euphonium to the conservatory is a perfect representation of his kind and giving spirit and another way that his legacy will continue at the conservatory and through those of us fortunate enough to have known him.
Conservatory Dean Peter Witte once said of Hammer: “He was warm, endlessly energetic and he believed that every child must sing, in school and throughout their lives.”

Hammer, undoubtedly, would be pleased that current and future students will be able to use his euphonium, because such opportunities blend with his oft-spoken word that summed up his approach to many things: “Onward.”

Hammer had such an impact on his students and colleagues that many wanted to make sure that his legacy endured. With the support of the Hammer family, two avenues for remembering him and supporting students were established:

The Hammer Family Memorial Scholarship honors the Hammer family’s long history with University of the Pacific. This endowed fund provides scholarship support for students pursuing a degree in music education.

Eric Hammer Memorial Band Fund provides annual support to the Conservatory of Music’s band program.

Gifts also may be made by check to University of the Pacific and mailed to 3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton, CA 95211 (specify in the memo line the fund you would like to support). Questions? Contact Judy Nagai, Assistant Vice President, University Development, at or 209.932.2864.