Richard Waters

Richard Waters
  • Director 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


Richard Waters is Director of Choral Activities 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. His choirs have performed in several notable national and international venues, including Carnegie Hall, Washington National Cathedral, York Minster, and Salzburg Cathedral, and have toured throughout England, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Ireland. 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). He was voted College/University Teacher of the Year for District 11 of KMEA in 2012. From 2003-2011, Dr. Waters 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 Colla Voce Music, Hinshaw Music, and Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and have been performed and featured in reading sessions at state, regional, and national conferences of ACDA. His article on the carol settings of Harold Darke was published in the October 2007 Choral Journal. He served as President-Elect and R&S Chair for College/University Choirs of Mississippi ACDA, and was Poster Session Coordinator for the ACDA National Conference in 2011 (Chicago), 2013 (Dallas), and 2015 (Salt Lake City). He currently serves as the ACDA Southern Division R&S Chair for College/University Choirs.


Dr. Waters is 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, 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, and is currently Director of the Chancel Choir at First Christian Church in Richmond, KY. 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 and Dennis Keene. He holds memberships in the American Choral Directors Association, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Chorus America, 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. For more information, visit