Justin Raffa’s schedule is getting even busier.
The artistic director of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers is taking on the additional role of chorusmaster of the Yakima Symphony Chorus, replacing the retiring Scott Peterson.
“I am very excited to build upon the amazing career of Dr. Peterson and continue his mission to grow the chorus into an outstanding regional ensemble whose artistic quality and professionalism matches that of our great (Yakima Symphony Orchestra),” Raffa said in a news release.
He told the Herald he envisions opportunities for more collaboration between the Tri-City and Yakima groups.
Raffa holds a bachelor’s degree in music education with a vocal concentration from Westminster Choir College in New Jersey and a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Arizona.
He has been Mid-Columbia Mastersingers’ artistic director for seven years.
“Mr. Raffa’s record of success with the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers is impressive, and we look forward to this new chapter in the growth of our chorus,” chorus president Tanya Knickerbocker said. A goal is to build the chorus to 100 singers.
Added Lawrence Golan, the symphony’s music director: “(Raffa’s) training, skills, experience as a symphony chorus director and enthusiasm for the choral-orchestral repertoire will all result in outstanding performances for our Yakima community.”
The chorus, connected to the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, performs with the symphony during some shows and also holds its own concerts.
David Rogers, the symphony’s executive director, also had praise for Raffa.
“With Justin’s enthusiasm and talent, we look forward to bringing many new members on board and continuing to raise the regional profile of our chorus,” he said.