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Richard Travers, Music Director

Music Director Richard Travers earned a master’s degree in Choral Conducting from Boston Conservatory and a degree in Music Education from Berklee College of Music.  An award-winning music educator in the Newton (Ma.) Public Schools for 35 years, Travers was nationally and internationally recognized for his concert work with the choirs at Newton North High School where he toured the Eastern United States, Europe, and Canada. Upon retirement from Newton North High School, Travers created a music lecture series based on education and entertainment that has been presented in over 60 senior communities since 2010. Maestro Travers has been Music Director of the Newton Community Chorus since 1999. He thoroughly enjoyed his tenure as Music Director of the Rosie’s Place Jazz Choir, working closely with the late Kip Tiernan, founder of Rosie’s Place. Richard Travers started playing piano at age of 4 and when he was 12, became the lead choir boy for the St Theresa’s Boys Choir under the direction of Berj Zamkochian, organist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. It was this unique experience that led him to develop his interest in choral singing. Under the tutelage of legendary conductor Allen Lannom, Travers continued his studies of choral music while serving as the Assistant Director of the Masterworks Chorale. In a career spanning 50 years, Maestro Travers has conducted choirs at Newton North High School, Fitchburg State College, The New England Conservatory Youth Chorale, Massachusetts Music Educators Association Honor Choirs, Westwood High School, Melbourne Youth Choir (Aus) and the Fine Arts Chorale, Weymouth, Ma.


Monique Weiss Byrnes, Accompanist




Music has been at the heart of Monique's life, and a second language for her family, as each sibling studied several instruments and performed in music ensembles throughout their community. Monique attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music and received a Bachelor's in organ performance and a Master's in choral conducting. While at Oberlin she spent time in Europe, teaching at the American School in London, and performing on organs throughout Europe and accompanying and conducting choirs on concert tours in England, Wales, Belgium, Austria, and at the International Choral Festival in Poland.


Monique has been an organist, pianist, and choral conductor in the Boston Area since 1987. She has accompanied the Newton Community Chorus since 1988, performing choral works of Bach through Duruflé. Monique is Director of Music Ministry, choral accompanist, and choral conductor at Newton Country Day School. As the Director of Music Ministry at the Eliot Church in Newton, she plays the organ and piano and directs choral music from the Renaissance through the Contemporary for worship services. She was the recipient of The New England Early Music Grant, where she directed the St. Paul's Church Choir singing a series of sacred early music choral works accompanied by an early music ensemble for worship services. As a composer, she has composed works on Psalm texts and poetry, and her sacred choral composition, "In Christ There is No East or West," was selected to be performed at an Episcopal convention. In addition to directing and performing classical music, she teaches piano, organ, and voice and performs with jazz and classical ensembles.

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