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Release Date: 
Monday, April 17, 2006

Band director reunites with first music prof for concert

Band director reunites with first music prof for concert

Henry Ford Community College’s upcoming concert, 'All That Brass and Jazz,' is not only a concert for Rick Goward of Dearborn, HFCC’s director of bands and associate dean of the Fine Arts and Fitness Division, but also a reunion with one of his first music professors from Central Michigan University, Dennis L. Horton.

HFCC’s Big Band will join with CMU’s Brass Band for the 'All that Brass and Jazz' concert Sunday, Apr. 23 at 4:30 p.m. at the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center, located at 15801 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn. Reserved seats are $15. For tickets, please call 313-943-2354.

Goward, who grew up in the village of Millville, in Michigan’s Lapeer County, says that baseball, not music, was his first childhood passion.

'But, when I got to seventh grade, I remember that the junior high band would leave a window open while they practiced,' Goward reminisced. 'I would sit outside the window to listen to the band play. One day, I finally asked the band director if I could take lessons.'

Goward not only joined the band and took lessons, but after a year, he became first chair (the principal player) in the band’s Euphonium (Baritone) section. Music soon replaced baseball as his new passion.

Goward attended CMU after high school. He immediately noticed that trombone players could participate in brass ensembles, the jazz band and the orchestra. In high school, he played the trombone 'off and on,' so he switched to trombone in college.

After being accepted into the music program at CMU, he began working with his first brass coach, 'a young professor named Dennis L. Horton.'

At CMU, Goward played in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Symphony Orchestra,

Jazz Lab I, two pit orchestras for musicals, the Basketball Band, the Marching Band, Trombone Ensemble and all the wind groups.

Horton, one of Goward’s first brass ensemble instructors in college, says that 'having very successful alumni like Rick is wonderful - and to share a concert makes it even more enjoyable and exciting.'

This is Goward’s 25th year as HFCC’s director of bands. Before coming to HFCC, Goward taught band for seven years at Trenton High School and was the director of five high school bands at Trenton High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music at CMU and a master’s degree in music at the U of M, with additional course work at Michigan State University.

More than 70 school districts have band directors who were part of HFCC music, and six former students now teach at universities. In fact, one of Goward’s first high school students, James Batcheller, is now the associate director of bands at CMU.

For more information, please call Rick Goward at 313-845-6470. For more information about HFCC, visit