Trinity Christian College is known for its tight community and their family feel. This feeling is true, too, when you step in Trinity’s Admissions Office. Whether it is the student workers in the back room or the Admissions Representatives meeting with prospective students, everyone in the Admissions Office wears a smile. This all stems from Rick Riddering, Trinity’s Vice President of Enrollment.
Rick is known for having a welcoming demeanor, and highly contagious laugh. He makes everyone feel like family as soon as they step onto Trinity’s campus, but there’s a part of Rick that not many in Trinity’s family knows.
Rick grew up in Calumet City, Illinois. This was an up and coming multicultural neighborhood with mostly young, blue collar families. All of the families were very close and the parents even gave each other permission to correct their children if they did something wrong, they raised each other’s children as if they were just a big family.
Every week Rick’s immediate and extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) would get together to spend the day together. They would attend church on Sundays and then go to Rick’s grandmother’s house where they would have Sunday dinner.
After dinner, the family would gather around their grandmother at the piano. Rick says that his grandmother could play any song by ear and she could also read music. Rick’s family would sing and play instruments while his grandmother played piano. This, Rick believes, is where he believes his love of music came from.
Rick’s house would also always have music playing. His dad played guitar and piano and they would have jam sessions together. Rick’s dad was also part of a band. His band would practice at their house and they would let seven-year-old Rick play the drums during them.
Rick’s mom, on the other hand, is more rhythmic than musical. This was also passed down to Rick. Not only does this mean Rick has sweet dance moves, but it also means that he is able to play percussion really well.
Rick currently plays percussion in his church’s band. This is something that he has been doing for almost 12 years. Ten of those years was at one church and for the past two years he has been with his new church where he is currently the auxiliary percussionist, meaning he fills in the gaps in the music with instruments such as congas, bongos, and even the harmonica, which he had a few elementary lessons in before teaching himself how to play.
At Rick’s previous church, they had a Christmas concert called “Come to the Stable.” This started as something small and then turned into a huge production with people from all over the area coming to celebrate Jesus’ birth with Rick’s church. Rick played auxiliary percussion and harmonica during these concerts and even provided some comedy after the intermission.
Although Rick has been playing percussion for just about his entire life, he just started playing the harmonica about 15 years ago, but he loves it.
Rick never would have imagined that his life would be the way that it is right now. He went to school and graduated with a degree in Public Relations. He then started working for the Chicago White Sox in their Public Relations department.
After a few years, he realized that wasn’t what he wanted to do. He changed his job a few times, two of those times he was laid off because his position had been gotten rid of.
It was hard finding jobs each time that he was laid off, but music was a constant in his life. It was a hobby that he could enjoy anywhere, no matter what was going on.