Rick Espinosa serves as Director of Bands at Missouri Southern. He is the conductor of the Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic (Concert) Band and the leader of the Lion Pride Marching Band and the Lion Pride Brass Pep Band. Additionally he is the instructor of both beginning conducting and advanced instrumental conducting, composition, and marching band techniques and methods courses. Dr. Espinosa also currently serves as the Trumpet/Brass instructor for the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps, a member of Drum Corps International (DCI). He actively serves as a clinician for high school and middle school band programs in the Four State area and even works regularly with local programs both in marching and concert season; this spring he will be the conductor for the SWMMEA High School Honor Band.
Prior to his appointment at MSSU, Dr. Espinosa served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. For six years he was an essential part of this prominent band program, leading their Courtside Players pep band to venues across the nation, serving as Associate Director of the Baylor Golden Wave Marching Band, and teaching conducting courses to hundreds of students. He also served as faculty sponsor for Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma, the national honorary band fraternity and sorority.
A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Espinosa holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree and Master of Music degree, both in wind conducting, from the University of California, Los Angeles, studying with Dr. Thomas Lee. Additionally, Dr. Espinosa holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition from the California State University, Los Angeles, where he also studied wind conducting with Dr. Abel Saldivar Ramirez. He has served in trumpet instruction and band leadership roles for the UCLA Marching Band, the Pasadena City College Lancer Marching Band, the Tournament of Roses Band and Herald Trumpets, and the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps as well as marching instructor for various California high school bands.
Rick Espinosa holds affiliations with the Missouri Music Educators Association (MMEA), the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA), and is an honorary member of Kappa Kappa Psi and Tau Beta Sigma. He and his wife Michelle welcomed their first child, Ethan, this past year.