Bio

As an independent percussionist, Rick has performed with the Tucson Symphony, Arizona Opera, the University of Arizona Symphony, the University of Arizona Wind Ensemble, the Rappahannock Pops Orchestra, the Stafford Choral Society, the Fredericksburg Chorus,the Spotsylvanians Chorus, the Friday Morning Music Club in Washington, DC, the McLean Orchestra in Virginia, andparticipated in the first annual Masterworks Festival sponsored by the Avanti Orchestra in Maryland.

Rick was the principal percussionist with the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and performed with the Capital Wind Symphony for the 2009-2010 season.  From 2011-15, he was the Principal Percussionist with the Sierra Vista Symphony Orchestra and was a regular performer with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra.  Rick performed with SASO as timpanist at the Oaxaca Opera Festival in Mexico and in Brazil at the Gramado in Concert Orchestra Festival.

Rick is also active in musical theatre and was the percussionist for shows produced by University of Arizona, Stagedoor Productions in Fredericksburg,VA,the University of Mary Washington, and the Riverside Dinner Theatre in Stafford VA.

​He is a former member of the Fredericksburg Big Band. Rick was drummer for the regional Virginia dance/swing band 'Alias,' who was primarily booked for weddings, corporate events and other private parties. 

Currently, he is the drummer with a Marty Robbins Tribute Band who performs to sold out audiences in the Phoenix and Tucson area.

Rick performs on the marimba as a soloist for various occasions such as ceremonies, weddings, dinners, and religious services. Rick was a soloist and performed with the University Arizona Rosewood Marimba Ensemble at the 2013 Bob McCormick Marimba Festival in Tampa, FL.

​​In April 2008 and in March 2009, Rick was marimba soloist for the Sounds of the Symphony concert series sponsored by thePrince William Symphony and the Manassas, VA Public Library. In February 2008, and February 2009,Rick was the marimba clinician for the Scotch Plains Fanwood High School, New Jersey Day of Percussion. Rick has also been a marimba soloist at the Pavilion at the Old Post Office, Washington, DC, the Andrews AFB Officers' Club. MD, the Patuxent Navy Officers' Club, and the Army Navy Club in Arlington, VA.

As a teacher, Rick is involved in providing private and group lessons, as well as composing, arranging, and instructing marching percussion. As the assistant band director at Orange Grove Middle School in Tucson, AZ, he started a percussion ensemble program in 6th, 7th and 8th grades.  The percussion ensembles performed at all concerts, for assemblies, and other special events. Rick has taught high school programs, at the collegiate level and in the Drum Corps International as a front ensemble instructor with the Jersey Surf from 2004 through 2007. Additionally, Rick was a percussion contest judge in the Atlantic Indoor Association. 

Dr. Puzzo's current position is Assistant Professor of Music at Chadron State College in Chadron, NE where he directs the percussion program and teaches music history courses.

Some of Rick's other performing credits include percussionist with the  Tucson Ballet, Pittsburgh Opera, West Virginia Symphonette, Percussion '80 and the Orlando Concert Band.

Rick was the timpanist for the Spring 2004 University of Mary Washington Community Symphony concert conducted by Marvin Hamlisch.

Rick was the drummer with Eric Marienthal in July 2009 and July 2010 while Eric was in residence at the Rappahannock Summer Music Camp in Fredericksburg, VA.

Rick earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Arizona where he studied with Dr Norm Weinberg. Rick holds a Master of Music degree in percussion performance, also from the University of Arizona. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in Applied Percussion from West Virginia University where he studied with Dr Phil Faini, Jan Fung and David Satterfield. From 2007 through 2009, Rick continued his percussion studies with Svet Stoyanov through the Peabody Preparatory.