Northwest College

Teaching & Learning Center

Faculty spotlights

Learn more about what makes Northwest college’s faculty truly excellent! 

In collaboration with The Committee on Faculty Development and Morale and the office of College Relations, the TLC is excited to showcase the great work of Northwest College's educators! In this faculty spotlight series, we will feature members of our faculty that are recognized by nominations from their peers based on demonstrated excellence in teaching, mentoring/advising, service, or scholarship. Spotlights will also be promoted by the Marketing, Communications & Web office in a variety of media.

Eric Hagmann

Posted: June 9, 2023

It takes many years for some people to figure out what they want to do with their life, but Eric Hagmann knew at a very young age. Growing up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin in a musically inclined family, he and his sister would vigorously bang on the keys of his grandmother’s piano before she bought them music books and taught them to play instead of making noise. It wasn’t long before Eric was also singing in choirs, ensembles, and select travel groups, with each new experience leading to another, and eventually Northwest College, where he serves as instructor of vocal music.

A music theory and composition major at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Eric studied subjects such as classical piano and vocal jazz, continued to perform in choirs and a cappella groups, and developed the composition and arrangement skills that serve him so well today. After graduating, Eric gained further experience through gig work, playing in various bands and ensembles, and doing solo or commission work. He continued to assist the UMD music department too, and it was through those relationships that he landed an adjunct position at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth.

“St. Scholastica was fun because I got to do a lot of my own arrangements, but I was living the music major life, where you hodge-podge a bunch of things together, all with the same goal of working in music.”

Eric spent seven years at St. Scholastica, and with the encouragement of students and faculty who were impressed with his ability, he decided to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Northern Colorado, one of the best vocal jazz schools in the country. In 2019, he earned his M.M. in Jazz Studies, 13 years after his bachelor’s, but he felt that gap better prepared him for grad school and beyond.

Soon after, Eric got a call from Rob Rumbolz who told him Northwest College was looking for a new teacher in the music program. The interview process confirmed what he’d already heard about NWC, and one of the selling points was the willingness of the faculty to play together.

“I love being able to perform with them, and I’ve had the opportunity to do so many other things here too. It's a place where I feel at home.”