Tom Pederson retired following a very successful thirty-year career as a music educator. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Music Education at Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota, in 1970 where to prepare for his teaching career, he participated in as many large and small ensembles as possible. One of those ensembles was the Marching Band which in addition to marching at a Minnesota Vikings game and a Green Bay Packers game, marched in The Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. In 1977 he received a scholarship to attend the University of Northern Colorado performing in Symphonic Band, Concert Band, University Orchestra, and Jazz Lab Band One. He has performed professionally and semi-professionally on saxophone, bassoon, and percussion at various times in his life since the age of 15. Pederson has also been a guest soloist, honor band clinician, and adjudicator.
Pederson began his teaching career in Kenmare, North Dakota, rebuilding a struggling program that under his direction grew rapidly to where over 60 percent of the student body was involved in band, choir, jazz ensemble, and show choir. After attending the University of Northern Colorado, he became director of the Pride of the Valley Band at Valley High School in Gilcrest, Colorado. In addition to receiving superior ratings in concert performance, the band was recognized as one of the top marching units in the region winning many first-place trophies in marching competitions often competing against much larger schools. He left education for several years to enter the business world and while being successful in that endeavor, he realized that he missed his true passion of teaching music, so he returned to education in 2000. Since that time, he has taught at Highland High School in Ault, Colorado, Lake County High School in Leadville, Colorado, and finished his career where he started in Colorado, at Valley High School in Gilcrest. Music groups under his direction during these years regularly grew in quality and number of participants winning several awards along the way. In 2007 he was selected from over 100 candidates as Weld County Teacher of the Year by the Walmart corporation.
Mr. Pederson attends the Conducting Symposium at the University of Northern Colorado annually where he has had the opportunity to study under nationally known composers and conductors such as Frank Ticheli, John Mackey, Douglas Akey, Richard Saucedo, H. Robert Reynolds, Rich Blatti, Julie Giroux, Craig Kirchoff, and Loras Schissel, among others.
Pederson is excited to be the conductor of the Center for Musical Arts Community Band where he hopes to build on the established tradition of excellence the band has achieved by performing music that will be thoroughly appreciated by band members and audiences alike. He believes that band should be an enjoyable experience where members can have the common goal of creating beautiful music together in a positive environment.