Dr. Richard Waters, High School Choir Conductor


Richard Waters is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Eastern Kentucky University, where he directs the university’s three choral ensembles and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting and choral literature. He 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 master classes led by Rodney Eichenberger and Dennis Keene.


From 2003-2011, Dr. Waters was Director of Choral Activities at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi, where he received the DSU Foundation Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2008. Choirs under his direction were invited to perform at the Mississippi ACDA/MMEA state conference in Jackson (2007, 2011) and the ACDA Southern Division Conference in Memphis (2010). His choirs have performed in several notable national and international venues, including Carnegie Hall (NYC), Washington National Cathedral (DC), York Minster, Christ Church Cathedral (Oxford), St. Bride’s Church (London), Salzburg Cathedral, Karlskirche (Vienna), and St. Nicholas Church (Prague). While in Mississippi, he also served as Artistic Director of The Mississippi Chorus in Jackson. He previously conducted the UNCG Men’s Glee Club, was Assistant Conductor of the Choral Society of Greensboro, 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 lifelong church musician, he has served Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches in Connecticut, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Virginia, most recently serving as Director of Music at First United Methodist Church in Cleveland, MS. A native of Virginia, he began singing as a treble in the All Saints Choir of Men and Boys in Richmond. 


Dr. 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. His article on the carol settings of Harold Darke was published in the October 2007 Choral Journal. An active member of the American Choral Directors Association, he served as President-Elect and R&S Chair for College/University Choirs of Mississippi ACDA, and was Poster Session Coordinator for the 2011 ACDA National Conference in Chicago. He also holds memberships in the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Chorus America, College Music Society, MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Pi Kappa Lambda. Dr. Waters lives in Lexington with his wife, Cindy, and their three children.