Dan Peterson is the Director of Bands at Northeast Missouri State University. He holds degrees from the University of South Dakota and Drake University. Mr. Peterson taught for 13 years in the public schools in Iowa and has been at his current position at NMS for 17years. The marching band at Northeast is among the finest in the nation and annually performs at NFL football games as well as in exhibition at regional high school festivals in the Midwest. The Wind Symphony under the baton of Dan Peterson has performed at two national College Band Directors Association Conferences, one national MENC Conference and one regional CBDNA Conference. Mr. Peterson is a Clinician for Yamaha Percussion.
Peterson's public school career began in northwest Iowa at Havelock-Plover Schools. During the one year that Mr. Peterson taught at H-P, the first jazz band was formed and performed at several local events. Mr. Peterson moved to North Polk schools after one year where he started a jazz band and a jazz choir. These groups were the main part of the fund-raising variety show that was produced each year. The jazz band participated in numerous events in the school and community. In 1968, Mr. Peterson moved to Knoxville, Iowa where he began a third jazz band. This band traveled to the first SCIBA-Miller Music Co. jazz festival at North High School in Des Moines in 1969. In the following years, the jazz band from Knovville became a regular on the competing jazz band circuit and developed into a trophy winning band in 1972. In1974, Dan Peterson became the band director at West Des Moines Valley High School. Mr. Peterson changed the "show band" of the previous director into a Jazz Band and immediately became competitive in the jazz competition scene. The band remained active as a competition band, as a performer in the community and as the "house band" for the Girls State Basketball Tournament televised games on Friday and Saturday night of Championship Week.
Dan Peterson, director at Valley in West Des Moines; Ron Battani, director at Hoover High School in Des Moines began the Iowa Jazz Championships in 1976. The Valley Bands under Dan Peterson's direction finished third in the 1976 Championships and 2nd in the 1977 and 1978 Championships.