In memory of
Peter Rivera Perez
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In memory of
Peter Rivera Perez
Peter Rivera Perez was the firstborn of three children to parents Jose and Georgina Perez. Peter and his siblings grew up in a wonderful and close-knit family in Oxnard, California. His grandparents, aunts, and uncles all lived within a three-block radius, giving way to days filled celebrating family, music, dancing, food, faith, and love of life. Peter always stood out with his red hair, just like his great-grandfather. His childhood, filled with family and pride of his Mexican culture, led him and his siblings to dance Mexican Ballet Folklorico at various events throughout the region. Not a Cinco de Mayo went by that they were not performing from dawn to dusk. Peter was the first of the family to pick up an instrument which started their love of music where he, his brother Rafael, and sister Mary Ellen would continue throughout the years to play in marching bands, concert bands, orchestras, jazz bands, festivals, community bands, and at church. He started on the clarinet and then moved to the oboe. His musical talent soared and no matter what instrument he picked up, he had a talent for it. Peter was an accomplished woodwind player, specializing in oboe, English horn, saxophone, clarinet, and flute. He also played drums in his high school marching band. An alumnus of California State University, Long Beach, Peter studied under the directorship of John Prince, Akira Endo, and Larry Curtis, just to name a few, and performed in the "Big Brown Music Machine" marching band as well as various school groups throughout the United States, Australia, and Scotland. A partial list of Peter's live performances includes playing with the Joffrey Ballet Company, the Santa Monica Symphony, and the Pageant of the Masters' Orchestra. In addition, Peter performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, at the KOOL Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl (now called the Playboy Jazz Festival), the Montreux Jazz Festival, and America's Youth in Concert-European Tour where he played at Carnegie Hall and all over Europe. He performed in the orchestra for several musical theater performances in Los Angeles including Phantom of the Opera, Evita, and The Nutcracker ballet. He also recorded several motion picture soundtracks and television recordings including Sister Act, The Last of the Mohicans, Jingle All the Way, Animaniacs, and Batman the Animated Series, just to name a few. Through it all, he remained humble and often wouldn't tell others of his musical accomplishments, enjoying instead spending time with friends eating great food, fishing, listening to music, or laughing together. Peter dedicated the majority of his teaching career to the Valencia High School Tiger Regiment in Placentia, California. For the past 30 years, Peter served as the assistant band director as well as the director of the jazz bands and advisor to the combos, earning numerous top awards and accolades with his various groups. In addition to VHS, Peter worked with the bands at Fountain Valley High School, Savanna High School, Kennedy High School, and Kraemer Middle School. For the last 12 years, Peter was a site coordinator with Music in the Parks, a national band/orchestra/choir music festival organization. Peter was a member of the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA), International Association of Jazz Educators and has served as a clinician, auditioner, and band manager for several of the SCSBOA's honor groups throughout his career. For over 30 years, he influenced the lives of thousands of students as their music teacher. Peter had great success in teaching his students the love of music, jazz, and jazz history, and guided his students to earn numerous top awards and accolades over the past 30 years. It was important to Peter to expose his students to career paths in music by facilitating concerts with college and military bands as well as the annual jazz guest artist program, playing with many over the years including Poncho Sanchez, Bob Florence, Barbara Morrison, Francisco Torres, Wayne Bergeron, Andy Martin, George Graham, Eric Marienthal, Bill Liston, Sal Lozano, and Alex Hahn to name a few. A consistent participant in the annual International Reno Jazz Festival, the Essentially Ellington - Las Vegas Regional Festival, and many local Orange County festivals, the VHS Jazz ensembles and combos earned numerous high marks over the years. The band has also been asked to perform at various community and school district events. For him, the camaraderie between schools was always more important than winning, often making a point to attend other school's concerts and competitions as well as his annual dedication to the District-wide Jazz Jam each winter. However, most would say that he wasn't "just" a music teacher, but rather a mentor, sometimes-therapist, and friend. For many, he fostered an environment that was a safe place where students could be themselves and belong during those turbulent teen years. He served as a mentor to many Eagle Scouts, attended many quinceaneras, weddings, college concerts, and graduations of his former students. In 1999, Peter married Jennifer Minor and started a life in Orange County where together they proudly raised two beautiful boys. Being a husband and a father were two of his greatest joys in life. Pete and Jen built a home in Placentia where they infused the foundations of faith, family, laughter, and the love of music, soccer, and fishing. Some of their best memories were playing board games and roasting s'mores in the backyard, taking trips to the Central Coast of California, fishing at Southern California beaches, visiting family, and attending concerts, playing music and soccer together. Peter was preceded in death by his father Jose Perez. Peter is survived by his wife, Jennifer, of 21 years and their two boys, Christian-18 and Gabriel-15. He is also survived by his mother, Georgina, brother Rafael (Pamela), sisters Mary Ellen (David), Soledad, and Ana; in-laws Paul and Vivienne, sister-in-law Alison, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Due to the COVID restriction, attendance to the visitation, rosary, funeral mass, and interment will be limited and by invitation only in order to maintain the safety of those in attendance. Masks and social distancing will be required. However, all services for Peter will be live-streamed and a link will be shared via the Caring Bridge website for anyone wishing to participate virtually. Visitation will take place on Friday, February 26, 2021, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. followed by a Rosary beginning at 7 p.m. Both will be held at Garcia Mortuary in Oxnard, California. Visitation will be open to all who wish to attend with a maximum of 40 people rotating in the room at a time. The funeral mass will be at Santa Clara Catholic Church in Oxnard, California on Saturday, February 27, 2021, at 11:30 a.m., followed by the interment at Santa Clara Cemetery. There will be no reception at this time due to COVID restrictions. The family will host a celebration of life in Orange County at a future date when it is safer to gather for all those who wish to come and honor Peter's life. The family is so grateful for the generous outpouring of support throughout this difficult time. If you would like to send flowers or plants for the services, please send them to Garcia Mortuary at 629 S. "A" Street, Oxnard, CA 93030. Or, in lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to the Alzheimer's Association ( https://www.alz.org/ ), Epilepsy Foundation ( http://epilepsy.com ), or the Valencia High School Tiger Regiment Band and Colorguard ( http://www.tigerregiment.org/fundraising/ ). To sign the family's online guestbook, click on Peter's name located below "Obituaries" at www.garciamortuaryoxnard.com .
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Services Provided By
Garcia Mortuary
629 South A Street
Oxnard, CA 93030
Show Service Dates ╲╱
In memory of
Peter Rivera Perez
Peter Rivera Perez was the firstborn of three children to parents Jose and Georgina Perez. Peter and his siblings grew up in a wonderful and close-knit family in Oxnard, California. His grandparents, aunts, and uncles all lived within a three-block radius, giving way to days filled celebrating family, music, dancing, food, faith, and love of life. Peter always stood out with his red hair, just like his great-grandfather. His childhood, filled with family and pride of his Mexican culture, led him and his siblings to dance Mexican Ballet Folklorico at various events throughout the region. Not a Cinco de Mayo went by that they were not performing from dawn to dusk. Peter was the first of the family to pick up an instrument which started their love of music where he, his brother Rafael, and sister Mary Ellen would continue throughout the years to play in marching bands, concert bands, orchestras, jazz bands, festivals, community bands, and at church. He started on the clarinet and then moved to the oboe. His musical talent soared and no matter what instrument he picked up, he had a talent for it. Peter was an accomplished woodwind player, specializing in oboe, English horn, saxophone, clarinet, and flute. He also played drums in his high school marching band. An alumnus of California State University, Long Beach, Peter studied under the directorship of John Prince, Akira Endo, and Larry Curtis, just to name a few, and performed in the "Big Brown Music Machine" marching band as well as various school groups throughout the United States, Australia, and Scotland. A partial list of Peter's live performances includes playing with the Joffrey Ballet Company, the Santa Monica Symphony, and the Pageant of the Masters' Orchestra. In addition, Peter performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, at the KOOL Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl (now called the Playboy Jazz Festival), the Montreux Jazz Festival, and America's Youth in Concert-European Tour where he played at Carnegie Hall and all over Europe. He performed in the orchestra for several musical theater performances in Los Angeles including Phantom of the Opera, Evita, and The Nutcracker ballet. He also recorded several motion picture soundtracks and television recordings including Sister Act, The Last of the Mohicans, Jingle All the Way, Animaniacs, and Batman the Animated Series, just to name a few. Through it all, he remained humble and often wouldn't tell others of his musical accomplishments, enjoying instead spending time with friends eating great food, fishing, listening to music, or laughing together. Peter dedicated the majority of his teaching career to the Valencia High School Tiger Regiment in Placentia, California. For the past 30 years, Peter served as the assistant band director as well as the director of the jazz bands and advisor to the combos, earning numerous top awards and accolades with his various groups. In addition to VHS, Peter worked with the bands at Fountain Valley High School, Savanna High School, Kennedy High School, and Kraemer Middle School. For the last 12 years, Peter was a site coordinator with Music in the Parks, a national band/orchestra/choir music festival organization. Peter was a member of the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA), International Association of Jazz Educators and has served as a clinician, auditioner, and band manager for several of the SCSBOA's honor groups throughout his career. For over 30 years, he influenced the lives of thousands of students as their music teacher. Peter had great success in teaching his students the love of music, jazz, and jazz history, and guided his students to earn numerous top awards and accolades over the past 30 years. It was important to Peter to expose his students to career paths in music by facilitating concerts with college and military bands as well as the annual jazz guest artist program, playing with many over the years including Poncho Sanchez, Bob Florence, Barbara Morrison, Francisco Torres, Wayne Bergeron, Andy Martin, George Graham, Eric Marienthal, Bill Liston, Sal Lozano, and Alex Hahn to name a few. A consistent participant in the annual International Reno Jazz Festival, the Essentially Ellington - Las Vegas Regional Festival, and many local Orange County festivals, the VHS Jazz ensembles and combos earned numerous high marks over the years. The band has also been asked to perform at various community and school district events. For him, the camaraderie between schools was always more important than winning, often making a point to attend other school's concerts and competitions as well as his annual dedication to the District-wide Jazz Jam each winter. However, most would say that he wasn't "just" a music teacher, but rather a mentor, sometimes-therapist, and friend. For many, he fostered an environment that was a safe place where students could be themselves and belong during those turbulent teen years. He served as a mentor to many Eagle Scouts, attended many quinceaneras, weddings, college concerts, and graduations of his former students. In 1999, Peter married Jennifer Minor and started a life in Orange County where together they proudly raised two beautiful boys. Being a husband and a father were two of his greatest joys in life. Pete and Jen built a home in Placentia where they infused the foundations of faith, family, laughter, and the love of music, soccer, and fishing. Some of their best memories were playing board games and roasting s'mores in the backyard, taking trips to the Central Coast of California, fishing at Southern California beaches, visiting family, and attending concerts, playing music and soccer together. Peter was preceded in death by his father Jose Perez. Peter is survived by his wife, Jennifer, of 21 years and their two boys, Christian-18 and Gabriel-15. He is also survived by his mother, Georgina, brother Rafael (Pamela), sisters Mary Ellen (David), Soledad, and Ana; in-laws Paul and Vivienne, sister-in-law Alison, and many nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, and uncles. Due to the COVID restriction, attendance to the visitation, rosary, funeral mass, and interment will be limited and by invitation only in order to maintain the safety of those in attendance. Masks and social distancing will be required. However, all services for Peter will be live-streamed and a link will be shared via the Caring Bridge website for anyone wishing to participate virtually. Visitation will take place on Friday, February 26, 2021, from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. followed by a Rosary beginning at 7 p.m. Both will be held at Garcia Mortuary in Oxnard, California. Visitation will be open to all who wish to attend with a maximum of 40 people rotating in the room at a time. The funeral mass will be at Santa Clara Catholic Church in Oxnard, California on Saturday, February 27, 2021, at 11:30 a.m., followed by the interment at Santa Clara Cemetery. There will be no reception at this time due to COVID restrictions. The family will host a celebration of life in Orange County at a future date when it is safer to gather for all those who wish to come and honor Peter's life. The family is so grateful for the generous outpouring of support throughout this difficult time. If you would like to send flowers or plants for the services, please send them to Garcia Mortuary at 629 S. "A" Street, Oxnard, CA 93030. Or, in lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to the Alzheimer's Association ( https://www.alz.org/ ), Epilepsy Foundation ( http://epilepsy.com ), or the Valencia High School Tiger Regiment Band and Colorguard ( http://www.tigerregiment.org/fundraising/ ). To sign the family's online guestbook, click on Peter's name located below "Obituaries" at www.garciamortuaryoxnard.com .
View Full Obituary ›
Services Provided By
Garcia Mortuary
629 South A Street
Oxnard, CA 93030
Show Service Dates ╲╱
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