A Native of Southern California, Dustin Chilson is a graduate of East Carolina University where he received a master’s degree in tuba performance with a concentration in conducting and the University of Arizona where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and Tuba Performance. Mr. Chilson has studied with several notable musicians during his schooling, including Dr. Scott Carter, Tom McCaslin, Dr. Kelly Thomas, and Mike Becker.
During his time at the University, Mr. Chilson had ample performing opportunities which included winning solo/duet competitions and auditioning for several professional ensembles including The President’s Own United States Marine Band, the Newark Symphony Orchestra, and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. In addition to performing, Mr. Chilson is an active participant in his community as a volunteer and a certified music educator. He also works for several Tucson high school marching bands and gives private lessons for low brass students in the area.
This year, Mr. Chilson is very excited to help your student develop a lifelong love of music. Mr. Chilson has three years of classroom middle school band teaching experience, three years of college-level graduate teaching experience, and seven years of marching band teaching experience.
Mr. Rick Puzzo, Assistant Director of Bands
Rick is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of and holds a Master of Music degree in percussion performance, also from the University of Arizona. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in Applied Percussion from West Virginia University. From 2007 through 2009, Rick continued his percussion studies with Svet Stoyanov through the Peabody Preparatory.
From 2001 to 2010, he lived in Fredericksburg, VA and was an active performer in the Washington DC metro area. Rick was the principal percussionist with the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and performed with the Capital Wind Symphony for the 2009-2010 season. Rick was the Principal Percussionist with the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra, AZ from 2011 through 2013 and is a regular performer with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra and has traveled to Mexico and Brazil with this ensemble.
As an independent percussionist, Rick has performed with the Tucson Symphony, the Arizona Opera, Ballet Tucson, Tucson Masterworks Chorale, the University of Arizona Symphony, the University of Arizona Wind Ensemble, the Stafford, VA Choral Society, the Fredericksburg Chorus, the Spotsylvanians Chorus, the Friday Morning Music Club in Washington, DC, the McLean Orchestra in Virginia, and participated in the first annual Masterworks Festival sponsored by the Avanti Orchestra in Maryland. Rick is also active in musical theatre and was the percussionist for shows produced by University of Arizona, Stagedoor Productions in Fredericksburg,VA, the University of Mary Washington,Fredericksburg, VA, Theatre Department and the Riverside Dinner Theatre in Stafford VA.
As a teacher, Rick is involved in providing private and group lessons, as well as composing, arranging, and instructing marching percussion. Rick has taught high school programs, at the collegiate level and in the Drum Corps International as a front ensemble instructor with the Jersey Surf from 2004 through 2007. Additionally, Rick was a percussion contest judge in the Atlantic Indoor Association is regularly asked to judge percussion auditions for various honors bands and orchestras.