Rick Goward, M.M.
Rick L. Goward has been teaching since 1975, starting at Trenton High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music from Central Michigan University (CMU) and master’s degree in music from the University of Michigan (MSU). He completed additional coursework at Michigan State University (MSU).
Goward’s freelance professional trombone performances include "The Tonight Show" and "The Rich Little Show." He has performed with Aretha Franklin, the King Sisters, Marie Osmond, the Plural Circle Big Band, Vanguard Brass, as well as contracted work with Detroit, Flint, and Los Angeles area big bands and orchestras. His most recent memorable conducting experience was conducting the Plural Circle Big Band at the Michigan Jazz Festival. Goward has been director of bands at HFC for more than 33 years. At HFC, he founded the Metropolitan Symphony Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Studio 110 Jazz Orchestra, and the Henry Ford Big Band. More than 130 former members of HFC instrumental groups are now teaching elementary and secondary music, and 12 are teaching at the collegiate level.
Under Goward’s leadership, HFC band members have performed at music festivals throughout the United States and Europe. Prestigious performances include Carnegie Hall, the Detroit International Jazz Festival, the Edinburgh Music Festival, Jazz à Juan (France), the Montreux Switzerland Jazz Festival, Euro Disney, the North Seas Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Mardi Gras, and the 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013 Presidential Inaugural Balls in Washington, D.C. The Big Band appeared on PBS television in 2011 and 2013. Goward and the Big Band received the 2008 Wayne County Executive’s Award for outstanding cultural contributions in southeast Michigan from the Wayne County Commission and the Wayne County Council for the Arts. He is a board member of the HFC Federation of Teachers Local 1650, representing retirees, and past vice president of the HFC Administrators’ Association Local 71. He served as an Associate Dean from 1998-2007, retiring as a full-time employee in 2007. However, even in retirement, he is still the HFC director of bands.