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Richard Waters

Richard WatersDirector of Choral Activities; Professor

D.M.A., University of North Carolina at Greensboro
M.M., University of Hartford
B.M. James Madison University

Contact Information
Office: Foster 104
Mailing Address: Foster 101
Phone: 859-622-1336
Web Page: EKU Choirs
Expert Areas: Choir; Conducting; Choral Literature; Music Education


Richard Waters is Director of Choral Activities, Voice Area Coordinator, and Professor of Music at Eastern Kentucky University, where he directs University Singers (SATB) and Koros (TTBB), teaches courses in conducting and choral literature, and oversees the graduate choral conducting program. Choirs under his direction have been invited to perform at the ACDA Southern Division Conference (Memphis, 2010), the Kentucky Music Educators Association state conference (2016, 2021, 2022), and the Mississippi ACDA/MMEA state conference (2007, 2011). His choirs have performed in many 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.

Dr. Waters was the 2022 recipient of the Robert K. Baar Choral Excellence Award, presented annually by Kentucky ACDA in recognition of service to the choral art and dedication to the promotion of music education in the state. He 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.

Dr. Waters maintains an active schedule as a composer, clinician, and adjudicator. His compositions are published by Carl Fischer Music, Colla Voce Music, Hinshaw Music, MusicSpoke, and St. James Music Press, and have been featured at numerous conferences, festivals, and honor choirs. 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 the Southern Division R&R Chair for College/University Choirs.

In addition to his university responsibilities, Dr. Waters is Artistic Director of the Kentucky Bach Choir, conducts the annual Stephen Foster Summer Music Camp High School Choir, and 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. He has served as Conductor of the Madison Singers (Richmond, KY), 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 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 master classes 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, Pi Kappa Lambda, and is a National Arts Associate of Sigma Alpha Iota. For more information, visit the Richard Waters website.

School of Music

521 Lancaster Avenue
Foster 101
Richmond, KY 40475
Phone: 859-622-3266

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