Music Director Richard Travers earned a masters degree in Choral Conducting from the Boston Conservatory as a student of Allen Lannom and a degree in Music Education from Berklee College of Music. A music educator in the Newton Public Schools since 1976, Travers is the director of four choirs at Newton North High School: Vocal Ensemble, Concert Choir, Family Singers and Jubilee Singers. Travers has served as the Assistant Music Director of the Masterworks Chorale, Choral Director of Fitchburg State College, and Director of the New England Conservatory Youth Chorale. He has been the Music Director of the Newton Community Chorus from 1998 to the present. Travers recently completed his tenure as Music Director of the Rosie’s Place Jazz Choir working closely with Kip Tiernan, founder of Rosie’s Place.
A dynamic leader, Travers has led the Family Singers of Newton North in performances throughout the eastern United States and Canada. The Family Singers have taken part in eleven tours of Europe with performances at Notre Dame, Manchester Cathedral, Kylemore Abbey and St. Peter’s Basilica. In April 2010, Travers will lead his students on a concert tour of Florence, Rome, and Sorrento, Italy. The Family Singers have appeared twice at the Music Educator’s National Conference and represented Massachusetts on ‘Massachusetts Night’ in 1993. Travers presented a performance of Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Concert” with the Family Singers and Foxboro High School Jazz Band, featuring jazz soloist Rebecca Parris and the Kenny Hadley Band. The concert was selected by The Boston Globe as one of the “Top Ten Jazz Concerts of 1998.” Since 1988, Newton North choirs have performed major works with orchestra such as Handel’s “Messiah” and Poulenc’s “Gloria”.
Travers has served as guest conductor of the Massachusetts Music Educators’ Northeast, Southeast and Central Choirs, and in March 2010 he will conduct the Western Junior District choir. He had the honor of being guest conductor of the Melbourne Youth Chorale in Australia in 1998 and 1999. Active in state music educators’ events, he has led many workshops for the Massachusetts and New Hampshire Music Educators associations. He has served as Manager, Assistant Manager, and Adjudicator for the Northeast District Jazz Band and Choir, and Manager of the 1999 Massachusetts All-State Choir.
In addition to his role as choir director, Travers has been the conductor of over 25 musicals at Newton North High School, ranging from Guys and Dolls, Chicago, 42nd Street, and Les Miserables to the 2010 production of Cabaret. He maintains a private studio that provides instruction in voice, theory, and piano. Richard and his wife Diane are the proud parents of four children.