Rick Stitzel has been active in the field of jazz education for over 30 years. He holds bachelorís and masterís degrees from the University of North Texas in Denton. His masterís degree is in jazz studies.|
Mr. Stitzel has served as director of Jazz Studies at Tarrant County College South Campus in Ft. Worth for the past 22 years. In addition to his teaching duties he is sought after as a clinician and adjudicator in the jazz area. He has directed numerous all-region and all-state bands, including the 2004 Missouri All-State Jazz Band.
Each summer he serves on the faculty of several jazz camps, including the Lone Star Jazz Camp at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, the Jim Widner Jazz Residency at Drury University in Springfield Missouri, the Jim Widner Jazz Residency at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa and the Grapevine Independent School District Jazz Camp in Grapevine Texas.
He is an active performer on both trumpet and piano. He has appeared with many name acts, including the Temptations, Frankie Valli, The Four Tops, The Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, and The Temptations Review.
Rick is also very busy as a composer and arranger. He has written music for 700 radio and television commercials, theme music for programs on educational television, and has arranged music for theme parks including Six Flags Over Texas, Worlds of Fun, Astroworld, Six Flags Over Mid-America and an annual musical variety show for the US Army. He is also musical director for The Miss Texas Pageant. He arranged music for Don Henley of the Eagles, a concert that was presented on a national television broadcast on the Bravo Network.
His jazz compositions have been performed and recorded by professional and school bands around the country. Internationally, his pieces have been performed at the Pink Pop Jazz Festival in Ibbenburen, Germany, and at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Montreaux, Switzerland. This past summer he did a seminar and concert series in Slovenia, under the auspices of the U.S. Embassy. He is currently publishing his compositions and arrangements through his own publishing company, Rick Stitzel Music, Hal Leonard Music, and Really Good Music, LLC.
He is the author of Jazz Theory-A Survival Guide, a text that is in use at schools and universities around the country.
Mr. Stitzel is an Artist/Clinician for Conn-Selmer and plays the Conn Vintage One trumpet exclusively.