By Lori Dugan
THATCHER — Eastern Arizona College’s music department is pleased to host Dr. Richard Waters, DMA in Choral Conducting, Eastern Kentucky University March 10-12. Waters was commissioned to compose a piece for Women’s Chorale that will be world premiered at Spring Sing 2020.
He will be rehearsing with the Women’s Chorale while he is here and will also be hosting an open rehearsal on March 11, from 6-9 p.m. All area music directors are invited to attend the Wednesday night rehearsal. The rehearsals will be located in Clara Curtis Bennett Music Building (Band Room).
Waters is Director of Choral Activities, Voice Area Coordinator, and Professor of Music at Eastern Kentucky University, where he directs the university’s three choral ensembles and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting and choral literature.
Choirs under his direction have been invited to perform at the ACDA Southern Division Conference (Memphis, 2010), the Kentucky Music Educators Association state conference (Louisville, 2016), and the Mississippi ACDA/MMEA state conference (Jackson, 2007 and 2011). His choirs have performed in several notable national and international venues, including Carnegie Hall, Washington National Cathedral, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, York Minster, Salzburg Cathedral, and have toured throughout England, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Ireland. He also serves as Conductor of the Stephens Collins Foster Summer Music Camp High School Choir.
Dr. Waters was voted College/University Teacher of the Year for KMEA District 11 in 2012 and 2016 and received Distinguished Educational Leadership Awards from the EKU Student Government Association in 2016 and 2017. From 2003-2011, he was Director of Choral Activities at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, where he received the 2008 DSU Foundation Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
Waters maintains an active schedule as a composer, clinician, and adjudicator. His compositions are published by Colla Voce Music, Hinshaw Music, and Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and have been performed at numerous honor choirs and festivals, as well as state, regional, and national conferences of ACDA. He has served ACDA as R&S Chair for College/University Choirs and President-Elect of Mississippi ACDA, Poster Session Coordinator for three national conferences, and most recently as Southern Division R&R Chair for College/University Choirs.
In addition to his university responsibilities, Waters is the Chancel Choir Director at First Christian Church in Richmond, Kentucky. A lifelong church musician, he has previously served Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches in Connecticut, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Virginia. From 2012-2016 he was Conductor of the Madison Singers, a community choir sponsored by the Richmond Area Arts Council. He has served as Artistic Director of The Mississippi Chorus,
Assistant Conductor of the Choral Society of Greensboro, conductor of the UNCG Men’s Glee Club, and taught high school and middle school choir in the Virginia public schools. While in Hartford, he sang in CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists), the region’s first all-professional choir. A native of Richmond, Virginia, he began singing as a treble in the All Saints Choir of Men and Boys.
Dr. Waters received the Bachelor of Music degree in music education from James Madison University, the Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the Hartt School of Music, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has studied conducting with William Carroll, Richard Coffey, David Watkins, Michael Yachanin, and Welborn Young, and has conducted in masterclasses led by Rodney Eichenberger, Dennis Keene, and Doreen Rao. He holds memberships in the American Choral Directors Association, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, College Music Society, National Association for Music Education, National Collegiate Choral Organization, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Pi Kappa Lambda. He lives in Lexington with his wife, Cindy, and their four children.