Born of an Amish heritage, Eric Yoder defied convention and chose to focus his energy on a career in music and technology. He started on piano in early childhood and drumset in early adolescence. He used these backgrounds to later expand and excel on such percussion instruments as marimba, bells and vibes. Eric got his Music Industry Percussion Degree from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He spent his time in college not only in the classroom, but also building his experience playing on stages and in studios all over Ohio and Chicago.
After college, Eric officially relocated to Chicago and was immediately playing sessions with some of the best musicians in town. He worked on hundreds of records and jingles that played for an international audience. Some of the television and radio spots included such clients as: Antelis Music, Budweiser, The Chicago Bulls, Disney, DuPee Productions, Gatorade, Guitar Center, Kelloggs, Kraft, Leo Burnett, McDonald’s, Midas Corp, Miller, Montgomery Ward, PetSmart, Pizza Hut, SPANK! Music, Steve Samler Music, Tommy Armour Golf, WGN, and YMCA, to name a few.
In his personal time, Eric’s focus on practicing, performing, and making music was translated over time into his current professional abilities. He is quite accomplished on stage, in the studio, in church, and in the orchestra pit, with sight reading skills enabling him to pick up anything and nail it the first time. He has toured and performed all over the world, under many musical guises. He is a solid-groove player, who can match clicks and loops perfectly, as well as follow subtle to complex tempo and metric changes. He has mastered his craft in many different genres, including: rock, R&B, choral, country, gospel, popular, metal, orchestral, and multi-cultural styles of the world such as Cuban, Brazilian, African, South American, Mexican and Asian.
Yoder has studied with some of the finest musicians in the world on composition, drumset, marimba, vibes, steel drum, timpani, piano, congas, timbales, and all other percussion. His list of most influential mentors and teachers include Chris Hanning, Larry Snider, Bob Breithaupt, Eric Paton, Bob McGee, Joe Morello, Jim Babor, Rich Flores, Rocky Reuter, Stan Smith, Jeff Ciampa, Tom Frieze, Gary Ciepluch, Sarah Allen, Janet Pemberton, Shelly Irvine, Doug McComas, Gerald Carasea and William Becker.
As his expertise has grown in the areas of drumset, percussion, composition, and performance, Eric has continued to learn and take on new challenges. In 1998, Eric finished construction and opened his own recording studio, Horse-Drawn Productions. In his capacity as the owner and lead engineer / producer of this studio, he is known as a Pro Tools wizard throughout the Midwest. He can expertly polish musical recordings for clients using his impeccable rhythm and honed ear and he can do it all faster than anyone. He is charismatic with people in such a way that makes them feel instantly comfortable and ready to put forth a stellar performance. Eric also uses his knowledge in the role of a teacher and offers instruction in drums, percussion, Pro Tools, Logic, engineering, production and computer diagnostics. He is so established in the field that he has been highlighted in a published educational textbook that is being used in classrooms today, titled “Music! And Its Importance in our Lives”, under McGraw-Hill Publishing.
Just a few of the artists Yoder has recorded and/or performed with include: Andreus, The Arteries, Avant, Richard Black, Steve “FunkWorm” Butler, C Major Productions, CFM Chicago Symphony, Lafayette Carthon, Bexley Community Orchestra, CopperSnake, Da Odd Squad, DJ Eddie Mills, DJ Ricky Bradshaw, Eli Emily, Esmoove, Buddy Fambro, Fresh Oil, The Fugees, Giant Rockit, Ron Haynes, H2, Jack Foy Orchestra, R. Kelly, Lakeshore Symphony, Lauren “Blue Lou” Frost, Taj Mahal, Liz McComb, Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, O’neil & Ween, P-1, Sanctuary, Scutter, Sharp Cookies, Skee-Lo, Linda Smith, Starr69, Strange Ranger, Urban Funk Ordinance, and Stevie Wonder.
Eric’s list of accomplishments and colleagues grows every year. His ambition and thirst for musical excellence is insatiable as is his need to constantly push himself to take on new challenges. For example, in 1999 he picked up Bass and mastered the instrument so that he could play it in several different projects. In 2004 he expanded Horse-Drawn Productions to include a second recording and mastering suite, and in 2007, Horse-Drawn Records, Inc. was created. Given his work ethic and talent, the years to come are sure to be just as successful.