Richard attended Murray State University, KY on a drum major scholarship, where he majored in trombone and minored in voice. While there, he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree and Masters Degree in Music Education. While at Lone Oak High School, he started the distinguished Kentucky Colonel Band. By the end of his eighth year of teaching high school and middle school, over 500 students were enrolled in the instrumental program. His students earned over 250 Superior ratings at the Kentucky Music Educators Association solo and ensemble contests. The Lone Oak High School Kentucky Colonel Marching Band successfully competed in marching events from Miami to Chicago and was selected to represent the State of Kentucky for the inauguration of President Lyndon Johnson.
Richard received the Duke of Paducah Award from the City of Paducah, KY, and was named a Kentucky Colonel by Bert Combes, Governor of Kentucky, for his work in music education. In the fall of 1968, Richard was appointed Principal of Lone Oak Elementary School and in 1979, he was elected President of the Murray State University Alumni Council.
Richard is married to Rita Humphreys Petty. They have been married for over 50 years and have three daughters and seven grandchildren. Rita plays timpani in the Believers Concert Band.
In 2002, Richard was a Co-founder and Director of the Believers Band. Under his leadership, the band grew from five members to forty-five talented musicians. The band is thankful and honored to have Richard as our founding director. The band would not be what it is today without Richard’s leadership, vision and musical talents. Richard invested his time and talents in the band and it paid off big time with many memorable concerts and wonderful experiences for band members and our audiences. Richard was a master at getting the best out of each individual regardless of talent level. Thanks, Richard!