Ron Lipka
Band Director
The New Horizons Band of Rio Rancho

Ron Lipka has been a music educator for over 50 years. In January of 2004 he was inducted into the New Mexico Music Educators Hall of Fame. In January 2011 he received the NMMEA Emeritus Teacher Award. His public school experience includes 26 years in the public schools including Los Alamos elementary and junior high, Rio Grande High School and Eldorado High School.

Following those experiences he was on the faculty of New Mexico Highlands University for two years and for seven years was director of instrumental music and chairman of the Department of Fine Arts at William Penn University in Oskaloosa, Iowa. While director of bands at Eldorado the groups were awarded many honors in concert, jazz and marching. In 1984 he received the Albuquerque Tribune “Distinguished Teacher” award, was named “Teacher of the Year” at Eldorado in 1985 and in 1986 was recognized as “Outstanding Jazz Educator of the Year” by the New Mexico Unit of IAJE. In Albuquerque he played for nineteen years in the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and was a “first call” trumpeter for dance, jazz, show, opera, ballet, etc. He is currently State director of mentoring services and Retired Membership Chair for the New Mexico Music Educators Association and serves as mentor for new instrumental music teachers for APS. He is Past President of the Albuquerque Concert Band, past president of The Rio Grande Jazz Society and a Member of the Musician’s Association of Albuquerque. He is a regular contributor to The Journal of the International Trumpet Guild.

Ron’s wife, Sandra, is also an artist/musician/teacher and is well known for her many activities especially as a skilled potter. Ron and Sandra are very proud of their daughter, Jori, who is a Project Manager for a local construction company and also a member of the Albuquerque Concert Band in the clarinet section. Their son, Tracey, is a professional bass player in the Albuquerque area. Retired, Ron continues his music activities as a mentor, consultant, clinician and performer.


Frank Rivera
Band Director
The New Horizons Band of Rio Rancho

Frank Rivera is a 1967 graduate of Las Cruces HS and 1971 graduate of Western NM University with a BA in Music Education.  Majority of graduate work completed at New Mexico State University, with additional work at the University of New Mexico and Western New Mexico University.

Frank served on active duty in the US Army from June 1971 to September 1974 with the 62nd Army Band, attaining the rank of E-5 and is a graduate of the Armed Forces School of Music.  He was the assistant band director of the NMSU bands in 1974-1976 and also started his teaching career during this time.


In 1976 Frank joined the Army Reserve and within 6 months reached the rank of E-6 Staff Sergeant.  He attended the New Mexico Military Academy and was 2nd in his class and received his commission of 2nd Lt.  He was assigned to the 4153rd Armt Reserve School, teaching military courses to the National Guard and Reserve.  His total military service was 10 years.

Frank taught for 38 years in the public schools of Las Cruces, Silver City and Santa Theresa.

Frank is currently on the board for the Noon Rotary Club of Rio Rancho.



The New Horizons Band of Rio Rancho
Rio Rancho, New Mexico

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