11900 Bailey Road
Cornelius, NC 28031
Ms. Ruth Petersen, Director

About Ms. Petersen


Ms. Petersen has taught for 25 years - six of those at Smith Middle School, eight at Francis Bradley Middle School, and has been at Bailey since its opening in 2006. Ms. Petersen completed her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Music Education at UNC-Greensboro and is a National Board Certified Music Teacher. In 2014, Ms. Petersen was selected by her peers as the recipient for the South Central District Bandmasters Association's Award of Excellence. She has been a Cable in the Classroom Award winner, a Wachovia/First Union Ben Craig Outstanding Educator finalist, a semi-finalist for the Harris Teacher of the Year, a Disney's America's Teacher Award Nominee and recognized in Who's Who of American Women twice and five times in Who's Who Among America's Teachers. She was Teacher of the Year at Smith Middle School and at Bradley Middle School. Her primary instrument is the trombone. Ms. Petersen is a member of NCMEA, NCBA, SCDBA, NAfME, NBA, and WBDI.


Ms. Petersen also teaches private lessons to brass students, maintains various web sites for other organizations, and is an editor for NorthLand Music Publishers. Her latest editing work helped to bring back an important text on the history of the wind band, Time and the Winds by Frederick Fennell. She has also co-created a set of posters for band, orchestra, and chorus for teaching the concepts on which students are adjudicated at music performances.


Ms. Petersen is looking forward to another year at Bailey Middle School. Please contact her at r.petersen@cms.k12.nc.us with any concerns or questions.



Bailey Middle School (2006-Present):

N-BEAM Consortium Member - 2017

Commission - "Factory Child" by Ed Kiefer - 2017

UNC-Charlotte 49er Jazz Festival - Superior - 2017

NC Western Regional Jazz MPA - Superior - 2016

Music in the Parks Festival at Atlanta, GA - Superior, 1st Place, & Best Overall MS Band - 2016

South Central District MPA - Superior - 2016

South Central District MPA - Superior - 2015
Commission - "Dawn of the Angels" by Mekel Rogers - 2014

Jazz Clinic with Jim Snidero - 2014

NC Western Regional Jazz MPA - Superior - 2014

Music in the Parks Festival at Busch Gardens, VA - Superior & 3rd Place - 2014

South Central District MPA - Superior - 2014

Dallas Brass - Clinic and Concert - 2013

Music in the Parks Festival at CedarPoint, OH - Superior, 1st Place, & Best Overall MS Band - 2013

South Central District MPA - Superior - 2013

Commission - "Blue Ridge Reel" by Brian Balmages - 2012

Jazz Clinic with Jim Pugh - 2012

Music in the Parks Festival at Busch Gardens, VA - Superior & 2nd Place - 2012

Music in the Parks Festival at Hersheypark, PA - Superior & 1st Place - 2011

NC Western Regional Jazz MPA - Superior - 2010

American Musical Salute to Abraham Lincoln Performance - Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center - 2009

NC Western Regional Jazz MPA - Superior - 2009

Commission - "Legend of the Queen Anne's Revenge" by Robert W. Smith - 2008

NC Western Regional Jazz MPA - Superior - 2008

South Central District MPA - 8th Grade Band - Superior - 2008

South Central District MPA - 7th Grade Band - Superior -  2008

NC Western Regional Jazz MPA - Superior - 2007

Dallas Brass - Clinic and Concert - 2006



Francis Bradley Middle School (1998-2006):

While Ms. Petersen was at Bradley, the band program included 350 students during her eighth year. The school was represented at All-District Honors Band, All-State Honors Band, and the CMS Honors Band with students often making the top chairs. The Performing Band had consistently earned ratings of "Excellent" and ratings of "Superior" and had won the Music in the Park's "Esprit de Corps" Trophy twice in five years.

Jazz Band was added to the schedule as a class in 2004. The Jazz Band performed several times in the area including the 2005 CMS Emmy Night, Christmas in Davidson, and was the first middle school to ever perform at Northwestern High School's Jazz Discovery Festival in Rock Hill, SC. The Jazz Band performed for the first time at the NC Western District Jazz Festival in May of 2006 and earned a rating of "Superior."

In 2005, the Eighth Grade Band premiered "The Swarm," a piece composed by Robert W. Smith. The Swarm depicts The Battle Won With Hornets in which Francis Bradley had a prominent role. The piece was commissioned by the Bradley Band Boosters and dedicated to Robert and Lisa Estrada, outstanding band boosters.

The Bradley Band Boosters were proud to bring the Dallas Brass to Bradley in September, 2005. The Seventh and Eighth Grade Bands performed with the Dallas Brass in a concert after spending the afternoon in a clinic and rehearsal with the members of the ensemble.


"Music is not what I do, it is who I am."