Dr. Richard Sowers is a Professor of Music and serves as the Director of Choirs in the Anderson University School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Currently he is the conductor of the Anderson University Chorale, Anderson Symphonic Choir, and Men’s Choir, and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting and music education classes.
Under Dr. Sowers’ direction the Anderson University Chorale has visited almost every geographic region of the United States during spring tours. The Chorale has performed in a number of prestigious concert venues including Lincoln Center’s Aver Fisher Hall, the Riverside Church, and St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City, and the Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, California for the Hour of Power that was broadcast nationally and internationally, and the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., representing the state of Indiana for “Indiana Day.” Each Christmas the Chorale, Men’s Choir and other Anderson University School of Music, Theatre, and Dance ensembles present the Emmy award-winning Candles and Carols program which is broadcast throughout the United States and on two global networks.
Dr. Sowers has led eight European tours, performances in Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Russia. Most recently, thirty-five singers performed nine concerts during a 16-day concert tour of Finland, Sweden, and Denmark, including several performances at the Vaasa International Choir Festival. The Chorale was chosen to perform in concert for several division and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. Additionally, the Chorale has performed in concert and as a demonstration choir for many music education events and conventions in which Dr. Sowers served as a clinician.
During a 2007 sabbatical leave, Dr. Sowers was resident guest conductor of the EMO Ensemble in Helsinki, Finland, and presented a concert of music by all American composers written since 2000. Sowers also served as a guest conducting teacher at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and guest conductor of the Tampere Philharmonic Choir. Dr. Sowers is active in the International Federation of Choral Music, and served as a delegate to the 8th World Choral Symposium in Copenhagen, Denmark in July, 2008.
Following his graduation from the Indiana University School of Music, Dr. Sowers taught junior and senior high school choral music for several years in Indiana. He holds a Master of Music degree from Colorado State University and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University. In 1994, Dr. Sowers was selected the outstanding music alumnus from Colorado State University. His conducting teachers have included Jan Harrington, Robert Shaw, Helmuth Rilling, Edward Anderson, Douglas McEwen, and Kenneth Kiesler.
In 1989 Richard Sowers was appointed music director and conductor of the Anderson (City) Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Carmel Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic, Houston Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Youth Orchestras of Indianapolis. For ten years Sowers served on the staff of the Conductors Retreat at Medomak, a 17-day retreat for conductors held each July near Camden, Maine. Sowers served as interim conductor of the Anderson Area Children’s Choir and has conducted almost every other kind of choir including church choirs, men’s and women’s choirs, community choirs, and a professional level chamber choir. Dr. Sowers is active as a guest conductor, clinician, and free-lance orchestral conductor.
Richard Sowers has been at Anderson University since 1984.
Professor of Music
Chorale, Symphonic Choir, Valley Voices, conducting
B.M., Indiana University
M.M., Colorado State University
D.M.A., Arizona State University