Laguna Concert Band

Ed Peterson

Edward Peterson was born and raised in Los Angeles and graduated with a Bachelor and Masters of Arts degrees from California State University at Long Beach. Ed’s talent for music developed early with an inclination towards the rich deep tones of the brass, and especially the trombone. But it did not stop there. Even in high school he was interested in the larger tonal picture, the unique lines emanating from each instrumental section as he conducted the orchestra and band. He began conducting in earnest at Long Beach State with ensembles and touring groups.

Ed’s musical home at Long Beach State was the trombone section where he shared first stand with a senior named Bill Nicholls. (This turned out to be the same Bill Nicholls, now Doctor of Music Arts, who was to be the founding conductor of the Laguna Community Concert Band). When Peterson arrived at LCCB several years after its inception, he was surprised to find Bill Nicholls leading the band. Ed took his place in the trombone section, but soon Bill suggested that they share the podium as associate conductors. The two share every aspect of the directorial duties of LCCB.

Edward Peterson moved to Orange County in the 1970s where he taught instrumental music in the Garden Grove schools for more than 20 years. He is remembered for the fine music education programs and the awards his ensembles won in competition with much larger school districts. In 1984, as the Garden Grove High School Instrumental Music director, he invited professional musicians, friends of his, to strengthen his orchestra occasionally. Out of this collaboration, The “Garden Grove Community Orchestra” grew. When Peterson agreed to build a community orchestra in 1984, he scarcely realized how popular it would become. The orchestra’s first event held in August 1985 in a park was expected to draw perhaps 600 people. The crowd numbered more than 3000 and gave the orchestra a standing ovation.

In 1988, Edward Peterson initiated international “conductor exchange” programs with regional orchestras in Eastern Europe (Bulgaria), France, and Korea. The foreign orchestras were state supported, and all the musicians were professionals, unlike the Garden Grove Community orchestra, which only occasionally received grants from the community.

As an instrumentalist, Edward Peterson has also played principal trombone with the Coterie Symphonique in Long Beach, and the Downey, Compton, and Rio Hondo Symphonies, the Southern California Philharmonia and numerous other groups and ensembles. He is a popular guest speaker and television host known for presenting enlightening concert previews and music lectures.

Edward Peterson left the teaching profession in 1993, laying aside his baton and trombone. After such a frenetic period since high school, Ed needed to see other aspects of life. For the past twelve years, Ed has worked in the business world as a consultant-partner with his wife, Lorraine Reafsnyder, at HR Advisors, Inc.

After moving to Laguna Beach, Ed Peterson joined the Unitarian church where he met other professional musicians. A long-time friend there, Bill Foster, (and fellow musician, trumpet) invited him to pick up that horn again and join the newly formed Laguna Community Concert Band. And a new period in Ed’s musical life began.