Rick Cline is a performer/educator in Hickory, NC, as well as a husband and father of 2 boys , Reese and Gabriel. As a native of Hickory, Cline enjoys a wonderful musical career filled with numerous weekly performances and an abundant weekly teaching load. He teaches applied percussion at Lenoir Rhyne University, and the University of NC at Charlotte, and currently directs the Piedmont Percussion Program, a program for kids ages 6-18 for 7 years. Prior to that, he also founded and taught the Lenoir-Rhyne Percussion program for over 8 years. The P3 program contains over 60 kids, divided up into 4 percussion ensembles and 2 community steel drum bands. The program performs yearly at the NC Day of Percussion, has won national acclaim among educators, and has been acknowledged for excellence in the internationally distributed “Percussive Notes“. In addition to teaching the applied studio at LRU, he directs the LRU percussion and steel drum ensembles, and occasionally co directs the LR Jazz ensemble and the LR Pep Bands. Cline has maintained a large private teaching studio for over 22 years at The Music Center, Inc.. He also teaches several marching drum lines for local high schools. In addition he leads the Pan Jive steel drum band and the Gahu African drumming and dance ensemble. Both groups perform throughout western North Carolina in elementary and middle schools concerts year round. Cline also teaches summer African drumming workshops for over 30 teens, a program that was set up through Social Services, and Pepsi Cola. For his efforts in bringing the cultural arts to the community, he was last year’s recipient of the City of Hickory’s Community Service Award, and recently received the Ukama Award from the African American Cultural Center of Hickory. Cline teaches summer workshops for Steel drums and African Drumming for all ages. He gives workshops /master classes locally in addition to the Music Educators Convention in Winston. Cline performs regularly w/ the Western Piedmont Symphony and the Hickory Choral Society.
He has several jazz groups in which he performs with on a regular basis, and goes under the names, “Rick Cline Trio”, “Moodswings”, and “The Nathan Hefner trio”. He performs with local artists such as , Reggie Harris, Jonathon Birchfield, Kat Williams, Nathan Hefner, and more. He maintains a weekly jazz venue every Sunday night for going on 11 years, that goes under the name of “Jazz on Tap”. This amazing weekly attraction allows him to perform with numerous special guests weekly, and takes place in beautiful downtown Hickory at the legendary Olde Hickory Taproom, which was featured by PBS in fall 02‘. Cline formed the “Hickory Jazz Orchestra” 18 piece Big Band which performs yearly for downtown Hickory’s “Swingin Under the Stars” .. a tribute to our Memorial Day Veterans. This downtown swing dance attracts several thousand peoples and in 2010 was the recipient of the “Best Downtown Event in North Carolina” award by the NC Dept of Commerce’s Main Street Center. Rick has performed w/ Jerry Lewis, Margaret Whiting, Rick Simerly, Marvin Stamm, Marie Osmond, The “Diamonds”, Shirlie Reaves, Charlie Daniels, Legendary Orioles, the 4-Aces, and many more. He plays in several rock
bands/swing bands/country bands/ and funk bands on a regular basis around the state. His regular band “Baby Black” performs yearly for numerous large events such as Hickory’s Oktoberfest, Hickory’s Beer Festival, Charlotte’s Oktoberfest, Taste of Hickory, and Hickory Alive as well as private and cooperate events. The title of his latest solo CD is ” Must Be This Tall to Ride”, all originals composed by Cline and is a modern jazz project. Cline has had several percussion ensemble and steel drum ensemble pieces published by C. Alan Publication. Clines’s book; “TOOLS for the Developing Drummer” was officially released in May 2011 after 15 years of use among his students. He has a home recording studio called “Cline Town Studios” in which he is currently able to balance numerous recording projects with state of the art equipment. Cline enjoys writing yearly grants such as his most recent titled “Lift Every Voice” and “The Real Deal”, two projects that took kids from Hickory’s inner city by audition, professionally recorded them to cd, and finally hosting a public concert whereby 1000 cds were distributed for free. Rick Cline holds a Masters in Music Performance from UNC Greensboro.