Photo Credit:  Peter Hellberg

John Peterson, Director of Bands

John Peterson joins the team at Cedar Ridge High School for the 2018-2019 school year as he begins his eleventh year as a high school music educator.

After graduating from the University of Texas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education, Mr. Peterson began his career in the Dallas area, teaching at The Colony High School in Lewisville ISD for four years followed by four additional years at Allen High School in Allen ISD. In Allen, Mr. Peterson served the 700+ member band as Associate Director of Bands; he was very involved in taking the group to the 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade and assisted in all aspects of running the band program. On top of his responsibilities at Allen High School, Mr. Peterson attended night-classes at Southern Methodist University and completed his Masters of Music in Music Education in May of 2016. Mr. Peterson has spent the last two years serving as an assistant band director at Round Rock High School in Round Rock ISD.

Mr. Peterson is a graduate of the Round Rock Independent School System. He attended Laurel Mountain Elementary, Canyon Vista Middle School, and graduated from Westwood High School. During his time at the University of Texas, he taught private lessons (saxophone) at Ridgeview Middle School, Hopewell Middle School, and Stony Point High School.

When not at work, Mr. Peterson enjoys time with his family. As of May 2018 he and his wife, Bridget, have been happily married for nine years. Together they have two boys - A.J. (five in November 2018) and Tyler (two in August 2018) - and a seven year old labrador retriever, Jack. When he’s able to find some free time, Mr. Peterson enjoys the outdoors, running, traveling, reading, and trying to keep up with popular shows.

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 Photo Credit:  dimnikolov

Photo Credit: dimnikolov

Rick Rodriguez,  Associate Director of Bands/Percussion Specialist

Rick Rodriguez (“Mr. Rod”) has become a well known and respected percussion clinician around the country and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of North Texas. He is currently in his 4th year as percussion director at Cedar Ridge High School in Round Rock, TX. Rick was previously the percussion specialist and wind ensemble assistant at Spring High School for 16 years. During Mr. Rod’s tenure at Spring High School, the Spring Percussion Ensemble has won and received numerous awards and honors in both marching and concert activities. Some of these awards and events include the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic Percussion Ensemble, The Music For All National Concert Band Festival, and Bands of America marching events along with many other festival performance and drum line awards. Mr. Rod has performed in and instructed the world famous University of North Texas P.A.S. Drum Line and was a snare drummer and staff member of the Concord Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps. He has also worked with Phantom Regiment and Blue Knights and was on the adjudicating staff for Drum Corps International (DCI) for four years. Rick is a busy private teacher and percussion master class consultant year round, while also writing and arranging various percussion ensemble and drum books. He has taught and/or arranged percussion music for many top high school percussion ensembles throughout the state, including Spring High School, Westfield High School, Marcus High School, Cedar Park High School and Haltom High School. Rick Rodriguez is currently endorsed by the educational programs of Pearl Drums, Innovative Percussion Sticks and Mallets, Evans Drum Heads, and the Zildjian Cymbal Company and has published works by Boosey & Hawkes and C. Allan Publications.

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 Photo Credit:  Mitya Ku

Photo Credit: Mitya Ku

Arminda Velasquez, Assisstant Director of Bands

Arminda M Velasquez is in her first year as Assistant Band Director at Cedar Ridge High School. Ms. Velasquez received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Studies and Music Performance with Flute Emphasis from Texas State University.

While at Texas State University, Ms. Velasquez was principal flute of the Texas State Symphony Orchestra, Flute/Piccolo Section Leader for the Bobcat Marching Band, a member of the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Winds, and Flute Choir where she guest conducted two concerts. She went on to win the 2011 Texas State Concerto Competition as a sophomore and performed with the Symphony Orchestra in March 2012. As a member of the Wind Symphony, Ms. Velasquez performed at the Collegiate Band Directors National Association Regional Convention in Fayetteville, Arkansas in spring of 2014. She has taught privately and in master class settings.

Ms. Velasquez has attended and performed at the National Flute Association Conventions in 2012 and 2013, as well as the 2013 UT Conducting Symposium, 2014 Baylor Conducting Workshop, 2014 CU Boulder Panoramic Flute Workshop, and 2015 CU Boulder Conducting Symposium.

She was previously employed by Pflugerville I.S.D. as a music teacher for River Oaks Elementary. Ms. Velasquez student taught at Clint Small Middle School in Austin, Texas under the direction of Tonia Mathews and Suzy Glaser.

Her teachers on flute and conducting, privately and in master classes include Dr. Adah Toland Jones, Dr. Kyle Glaser, Leone Buyse, Emi Ferguson, Jim Walker, Jerry Junkin, Dr. Cristina Ballatori, Dr. Matthew Roeder, Christina Jennings, Dr. Don McKinney, and Dr. Caroline Beatty.

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Greg Horner, Assistant Director of Bands

Greg Horner is in his third year as an Assistant Band Director with the Cedar Ridge Band. With the CRHS Band Mr. Horner conducts the Symphonic and Jazz Bands, leads marching rehearsals, manages inventory/lockers, and organizes the Solo and Ensemble Contests.

Mr. Horner is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Music Studies - Instrumental Education Emphasis. While a student at UT he had the opportunity to perform with many ensembles, including the Wind Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Lab Orchestra, Butler Opera Center, New Music Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, Brass Chamber Choir, Trumpet Ensembles, and Basketball Band. He has performed at such events as the Menuhin International Violin Competition, Percussive Arts Society International Convention, inauguration of UT’s President Fenves, and earned second place in the National Trumpet Competition (2016 Large Ensemble Division).  

Mr. Horner has had an extensive career with Drum and Bugle Corps, touring, performing, and educating across America and Europe. He has marched 2010-2011 with the Bluecoats (Canton, OH), 2012-2014 with the Blue Devils (Concord, CA), and 2015 with the Blue Devils International. During this time he served as a section leader and trumpet soloist with the Blue Devils (2014). He is a brass instructor with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps (Rockford, IL), a position he held for three years prior with the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps (Denver, CO).

Mr. Horner is from nearby Pflugerville, TX and was a visual and private lesson instructor with Pflugerville High School from 2011-2015. While a student there he was a two time all-state trumpet player.

Outside of music and marching, Mr. Horner enjoys exploring the outdoors and cooking.

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