Rick Dior is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with renowned timpanist Fred Hinger and jazz composer Bob Mintzer. He also studied extensively with famed jazz drummer Joe Morello. Rick has performed as a percussionist with some of the greatest artists in the music industry including James Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Roberta Flack, Ray Charles, Bobby Mcferrin, Al Jarreau , Marvin Hamlisch and Martina Mcbride. He has added his drum set talents to performances with many great jazz artists including Marvin Stamm, Bill Watrous, Clark Terry, Red Rodney, Chris Potter, Russell Malone and Lionel Hampton. Some of these performances have taken place with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, which he has performed with since 1990 as principal percussionist, section percussionist and timpanist. Rick’s recording credits are extensive and include movie soundtracks, CD releases and commercial radio and television spots. As a first call percussionist in Charlotte Rick has performed in dozens of Broadway show tours. Some of the most recent are Wicked, The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Spamalot, Hairspray, South Pacific, West Side Story and Mary Poppins.
As a recording engineer and producer Rick has been involved in hundreds of projects, many of which are currently available on CD and Video. He has worked with several outstanding artists including Harry Connick Jr., Branford Marsalis, Delfeayo Marsalis, Cyrus Chestnut, Michael Spiro and Ed Thigpen. You can see a partial list of his award winning recordings as a performer and engineer on line at Artist Direct.com. Rick has also been involved in several high profile live recordings including projects for NPR, ESPN, The Charlotte Symphony and Opera Carolina.
In addition to teaching full time at UNCC Rick also maintains an active private teaching studio. His private students have gone on to attend UNCC as well as many other prestigious music institutions such as The Julliard School of Music, The Manhattan School of Music, The Eastman School of Music, North Texas State University, the Oberlin school of music and The University of Miami. Many of these students are active as professional musicians and educators. As a composer Rick has written many compositions and arrangements for Jazz and Latin ensembles as well as for the Charlotte Symphony the UNCC percussion ensemble and the Charlotte symphony percussion ensemble. In 2018 Rick was commissioned to orchestrate his composition Science Fiction for a European tour of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, widely considered to be the finest youth orchestra in the world. He is also the author of several percussion books and DVD’s the including the acclaimed Advanced Coordination for Drum Set and Hand Percussion. Ricks books and compositions are published by Tap Space. He is also an artist for Vic Firth Drumsticks and Paiste Cymbals.