A native of Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York, Richard grew up in Virginia Beach, VA, where he began to carry on a family tradition of making great music. His father, Anthony F. Rossi, studied opera at the Julliard School of Music and sang professionally in a number of Broadway musicals. In fact, Anthony met his soon-to-be bride, Barbara Winfield, while the couple toured together in the Broadway production of South Pacific.
Richard is Director of Orchestral and Choral Activities at Eastern Illinois University where he directs the Eastern Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Symphony Chamber Orchestra, Concert Choir, Oratorio Society and teaches both graduate and undergraduate conducting, choral arranging, organ, harpsichord and voice. In the Fall of 2006, Richard established and is director for both the Sinfonia and the Camerata Singers as part of the Collegium Musicum (Early Music Ensembles) at EIU.
Richard holds a DMA in Conducting from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, an MFA in both orchestral and choral conducting from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, a BM in music education with a concentration in piano and organ from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, and a Master of Divinity from Saint Vincent Seminary. Over the years, Richard has studied with many renowned maestros including (in alphabetical order): Vance George, Juan Pablo Izquierdo, Dennis Keane, Don Moses, Robert Page, Fred Stoltzfus, and Sandra Willetts.
In addition to his guest conducting, composing, teaching, singing, and playing career, Richard is the organist at First Presbyterian Church in Champaign.