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Mr. Christopher Rigolini, Director of Instrumental Music

Chris Rigolini is a music educator, originally from Florida, serving as the Director of Instrumental Music at Highlands Ranch High School since fall of 2018. Mr. Rigolini graduated from Florida Southern College in 2012 with his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. He began his teaching career that same year at Jefferson High School in Tampa, FL. While in Tampa, Mr. Rigolini was in high demand as a clinician and councilor at many local schools and universities. In the spring of 2018, he received his Master’s Degree in Wind Band Conducting at the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver. His professional affiliations include the Colorado Bandmasters Association, Colorado Music Educators Association, National Association for Music Education, FBA, FOA, FMEA, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Mr. Rigolini lives in Centennial, CO with his wife Kelly, son Rory, and dog Lucy.

Zach Barker
Zach Barker

Zachary Barker is an instructor at Blue Knights Percussion Ensemble, a drummer with Denver Broncos Stampede Drum Line, and teaches percussion at HRHS and Cherry Creek High School, as well as playing in a few local rock bands. We are glad to have him working with our Drumline and Winter Percussion groups!

Brian Ernster
Brian Ernster

Brian has many years of experience with brass and marching with Cherry Creek High School, THE University of Colorado’s Golden Buffalo Marching Band, the Cal Band in Berkeley, CA, Denver’s Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps, the Blue Devils Drum & Bugle Corps from Concord, CA, and has recently retired from 10 years with 101st Army Band of the Colorado National Guard. He is a former marching band assistant at Cherry Creek HS and Arapahoe HS and has been a General Effect and Visual judge in Band and Winter Guard competitions in Texas and Colorado. Brian is in the Army Reserves with over 23 years in various Army positions. Brian plays bass trombone with the Lone Tree Symphony Orchestra as well as various other ensembles. Brian is the brass and visual instructor with our Marching Band, and also works with our Winter Guard.

Kelly Rigolini
Kelly Rigolini

Kelly currently serves as the Marketing Manager and Digital Media Specialist for the Performing Arts Academy (PAA) in Highlands Ranch. She has spent the past few years working in marketing and communications for nonprofit organizations. In those roles she reported on human rights issues and helped send medical supplies to vulnerable populations all over the world. She earned an MBA from Hult International Business School and a BA in International Studies and French Studies from American University. Throughout her life Kelly has studied dance, drama, and music and she has experience as a teacher and choreographer. We are glad to have her as director of our Color Guard and Winter Guard!

Joe Hills
Joe Hills

Besides working with our Front Ensemble (Pit) and Winter Percussion groups, Joe teaches band and orchestra at Fox Creek Elementary. He also works with the Blue Knights Winds indoor marching ensemble as music instructor and creative design consultant. During his “free time,” Joe volunteers as an elected member of the Rocky Mountain Percussion Association (RMPA) Board of Directors and plays percussion with the Pikes Peak Brass Band in Colorado Springs. Joe has earned a Master of Music in Composition from the University of Missouri and a Bachelor of Music in Tuba Performance from Colorado State University. He marched six years on tuba with the Blue Knights Drum & Bugle Corps as well as six years in the front ensemble with the Blue Knights Percussion Ensembles.

Caitlyn Achilles
Caitlyn Achilles

Caitlyn Achilles is a member of the Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps and a student at The University of Denver. At the Lamont School of Music, she is studying French Horn Performance and is preparing to get her Masters in Conducting. In high school she and the Valencia High School marching band competed in SCSBOA and MBOS circuits, winning medals every year. During the winter season she participated in the winter percussion group and color guard. Now, she plays the horn with multiple ensembles around Colorado including the Littleton Symphony Orchestra; as well as teaching at HRHS she teaches beginning band at Larkspur Elementary.