After twenty-four years as the 4th-12th grade orchestra teacher, Peterson is retiring and moving to Sioux Falls to be closer to his children and grandchildren.
Recently, Peterson reflected on his long career in Huron.
“When I came to Huron there were very few students involved in orchestra, but there was a lot of support for the program in the
community and the school system. I wasn’t a full-time orchestra teacher
when I first arrived, I also taught some general music classes, but as
the program grew I was able to devote myself completely to teaching
orchestra,” Peterson recalled.
While Peterson’s own high school in Cokato, Minnesota didn’t have an
orchestra program, he developed an interest in music that led him to
Major in the subject at St Cloud State. He decided to apply his degree
to a career in education.
When asked what he has enjoyed most during his time as Huron’s orchestra
teacher, Peterson cites the many students he has watched grow and mature
over the years.
“I am their teacher beginning in fourth grade so I get to get to work
with them for nine years, from grade school up through high school and
then get to know them as young adults. It’s been a privilege to be part
of their lives for so long,” Peterson said.
” Several of my students , including my own children, have gone on to
pursue careers in music. I enjoy seeing students discover a love of
music and playing instruments, regardless of whether or not they make
their living in music.”
Even though this will be Peterson’s final high school concert, he
doesn’t intend to go out on a sentimental note.
“This show won’t be devoted to old favorites. I like to learn and teach
new music. Traditionally, the Spring concert is a pop music concert;
music you hear on the radio, movies and tv. There will theme songs
from television shows and the James Bond movies, a rock song and
selections from the Broadway musical “Wicked” ( the prequel to the
“Wizard of Oz”).”
Peterson is appreciative of the support Huron has given to the orchestra
program and considers himself fortunate to have been able to do
something he loves for so many years.
“I’ve had a great run here in Huron and I want to thank the community,
the students and the parents for all their help and support. Its been a
privilege to work in the Huron School District. I also need to thank my
wife, Geri, for her support. I always like to say behind every good man
there’s a woman rolling her eyes.”
Peterson hopes to continue to teach music on a part-time basis in Sioux
Tonight’s concert will be at the Huron High School auditorium. The 4th
grade orchestra students will perform at 6:00pm and the high school
concert begins at 7pm.