Did you know that starting an instrument in fourth or
fifth grade could lead to a lifetime of musical enjoyment? That’s what it did
for Mr. Richardson who directs the instrumental program for the PRUSD. Starting
on trumpet in fourth grade, he moved to piano, bass, tuba and percussion before
settling on French horn in high school. Further education resulted in Bachelors
and Masters Degrees in Horn Performance from San Francisco State University and the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music as well as a teaching credential in music.
“Music has taken me around the world. A trip to the World’s
Fair-Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan with my high school orchestra wetted my appetite
for travel and experiencing different cultures.” Mr. Richardson has played in
orchestras in Venezuela, Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland and the United
States. As a freelance musician, he has played with many orchestras in the San
Francisco Bay Area as well as Aspen, Sun Valley, Lake Tahoe and Rome Music
Festivals under such renown conductors as Segi Ozawa, Herbert Blomsted, Michael
Tilsen Thomas, Aaron Copland and Eric Leinsdorf. It was participation in the
Music in the Mountains Festival in Nevada City twenty-six years ago that prompted him to move with his family to Grass Valley in 2001.
“My favorite music to play is that of the Romantic Period.
Mahler, Strauss, Brahms, Wagner and Stravinsky. Great horn parts!” Mr. Richardson also enjoys pops
concerts and has played with such artists as Dave Brubeck, Doc Severinson, Rod
Stewart, Moody Blues and recently with Chuck Mangione (1974, 1986, 2009).
Elementary Band Program - 5th Grade
In fifth grade, Instrumental music is offered to students by a credentialed music teacher. It is a pullout program where the students are offered lessons on flute, clarinet, trumpet and trombone once a week for the school year. They will also learn music theory, notation, rhythm and the enjoyment of participating in an ensemble. We present a Winter and Spring Concert. The Spring Concert is especially fun as it involves the three elementary schools and the middle school in the same concert. The students, parents and teachers get to see and hear how much the band students progress from 5th to 8th grade! The local music store has an excellent rental program, and all the necessary books, accessories and materials. At the beginning of the school year, Mr. Richardson schedules individual instrumental fitting meetings with the child and parent to assure the student gets started on the right instrument. One of the goals of our district is to enable each student to experience a live performance where they are a featured musician.