The American choral conductor, composer and music pedagogue, Richard Nance, obtained his Bachelor of Music Education degree in Choral Conducting from West Texas State University (now West Texas A&M) (1973-1977); his Master of Arts degree in Choral Music from West Texas A&M University (1979-1982); and his Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from Arizona State University (1983-1985; 1992). He has studied conducting with Hugh Sanders, Douglas McEwen and David Stocker, and studied composition with Joseph Nelson and Randall Shinn.
Richard Nance served as Choral Director at Lovington High School in New Mexico (August 1982-May 1985); and Director of Choral Activities at Amarillo College in Texas (August 1985-May 1992). He taught in the public schools in both Texas and New Mexico. He has been a member of the music faculty at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) since August 1992, where he serves as Director of Choral Activities and conducts PLU Choir of the West and Choral Union. He lso teaches the four-semester choral conducting sequence and supervises student teachers.
Richard Nance is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) since 1977, and has served ACDA as president for the state of Washington, president of the Northwestern division, and as the Choral Reviews Editor for the Choral Journal, a publication with 20,000 subscribers worldwide. Six choirs under Nance’s direction have been selected to appear at ACDA regional conventions (including five of his PLU choirs), and he directed the PLU Choral Union in performance at the 2001 ACDA National Convention in San Antonio. His choirs have appeared at several ACDA and NAfME (National Association for Music Education) regional and national conferences, have won gold awards at prestigious competions, have toured Europe on several occasions, and have performed for the World Harp Congress, the United States Harp Association National Conference, the Cambridge (England) Summer Music Festival, Festival Bled (Slovenia), and the Harmonie Festival (Germany).
"Phoenix", a commercial compact disc produced by the PLU Choir of the West, placed second in the collegiate division of the 2011 American Prize competition. Under Nance’s direction, the PLU Choral Union’s 25th Anniversary Album won the 2011 American Prize for outstanding recording by a community chorus, and he received the same award for his work as conductor on that disc. He was awarded the 2013 American Prize for choral conducting for his work with the PLU Choir of the West on the disc "The Lightener of the Stars".
Richard Nance served as director of music at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church of Lakewood from 1996 to 2009, and is active as a clinician and adjudicator. His compositions have been published by Hinshaw Music, Walton Music and Colla Voce Music. He has written numerous commissioned works for festival, youth, high school and church choirs. His choral works are regularly performed throughout the USA and abroad. He was chosen to write a commissioned work for the Washington All-State Choir in 2002, and wrote the 2002 Raymond Brock Memorial Composition for the American Choral Directors Association, one of the highest honors to be awarded to a composer of choral music. Other recipients of this award include Morten Lauridsen, Samuel Adler, Daniel Pinkham, Eric Whitacre, Gwyneth Walker, René Clausen and Gian-Carlo Menotti. He currently lives in Puyallup, Washington.