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Ms. Ruth Petersen, Band Director

Ruth Petersen received her Bachelor of Music Education in 1991, and her Master of Music Education in 1992, both from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Ms. Petersen earned her National Board Certification in 2002 and renewed it in 2012. She currently serves as the Director of Bands at Bailey Middle School in Cornelius, North Carolina, and has been there since the school’s opening in 2006.


She has been a Cable in the Classroom Award winner, a Wachovia/First Union Ben Craig Outstanding Educator finalist, and a semi-finalist for the Harris Teacher of the Year. She was Teacher of the Year at Smith Middle School and at Francis Bradley Middle School. She was recognized by her peers from the South Central District Bandmasters Association with the Award of Excellence in 2014. In 2017, Ms. Petersen was recognized as one of 25 national semi-finalists for the Music & Arts Music Educator of the Year.


In addition to earning 28 ratings of “Superior” over the last 13 years, Ms. Petersen’s bands have performed with the Dallas Brass on three occasions and worked with jazz clinicians Jim Pugh and Jim Snidero. In 2007, her band participated in the National Anthem Project Finale and performed at the Old Post Office Pavilion in Washington, D. C. The Bailey Band performed at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City in 2009 for the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration. Her bands have also performed in Hershey, PA; Boston, MA; Orlando, FL; Atlanta, GA; CedarPoint, OH; Cincinnati, OH, and New Orleans, LA. The Bailey Band was selected by blind audition to perform at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools – A Musical Showcase in 2018. She has commissioned five pieces for middle school band most recently including “Factory Child” by Ed Kiefer and “Blue Ridge Reel” by Brian Balmages. Ms. Petersen’s jazz bands have performed for CMS Emmy Night, the finale for the Superintendent’s “State of Our Schools” Speech, and the National Association of Science Teachers Regional Conference. Her students have also earned chairs in honors bands at the county, district, and state level.


Since 2011, she has been the webmaster for the North Carolina Bandmasters Association and has served as webmaster for the South Central District since 2018. Ms. Petersen co-chaired the South Central District’s Solo and Ensemble MPA from 2011 to 2015 and served as Chair for the Western Regional Jazz Band Auditions from 2015 to 2019. In 2018, she was inducted into the American School Band Directors Association. She has just served a two-year term as Member-At-Large for the NC Music Educators Association Board and now serves as state chair for Women Band Directors International. Ms. Petersen is a member of NCMEA, NAfME, NCBA, SCDBA, NBA, WBDI, and ASBDA.