Rick Stitzel holds B.M.E. and M.M.E. degrees from the University of North Texas in Denton. His master's degree is in Jazz Studies. While at UNT, he studied with Leon Breeden, Dan Haerle, Rich Mattesen, Jack Peterson and Lew Gillis. He was a teaching assistant in the jazz area, directing the 3:00 lab band and teaching courses in jazz arranging and jazz fundamentals. Since graduation, he has been active in the fields of jazz education and professional music. He is in demand as a clinician and adjudicator, and has directed all-region and all-state bands. He is on the faculty at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas, where he is director of jazz studies and a brass teacher. Rick is active in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as a trumpet player and pianist. He is an artist/clinician for United Musical Instruments and plays the new Conn Vintage One Trumpet and Flugelhorn exclusively. Rick has enjoyed a busy career in the recording industry as a composer and arranger. He has composed music for hundreds of radio and television commercials, and has written for live and televised variety shows. His jazz compositions and arrangements are represented on the albums of Pete Petersen and the Collection Jazz Orchestra, The Jim Widner Big Band, and numerous college albums. His jazz pieces are performed around the world.