Ed Richards

Ed Richards is the director of the Virginia 91st Air Force JROTC Marching Band.
Director of Music / Bandmaster

Edwin Richards is Director of Music and Bandmaster at Randolph-Macon Academy, a position he has held for 41 years. He directs the Academy’s Air Force Junior R.O.T.C. Band and the Handbell Choir in the Upper School and at the Middle School teaches beginning brass, woodwinds and percussion classes. Mr. Richards also coordinates the private music lessons program on campus.

In recent years, under Mr. Richards’ direction, the Academy Band has gained national recognition, performing at such events and locations as:

  • The New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade
  • National Rifle Association Celebration of American Values Freedom Experience in Charlotte, NC, Pittsburgh, PA and St. Louis, MO
  • Walt Disney World
  • Universal Studios Orlando
  • The Pentagon

The band’s extensive travels have included Texas, Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Alabama, North Carolina, New York, Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia. The Band has also performed locally, and in the region, for such events as:

  • The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, VA
  • The Alsatia Mummers’ Parade in Hagerstown, Maryland
  • The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Washington, DC
  • The George Washington’s Birthday Parade in Alexandria, VA
  • The Neptune Festival Parade in Virginia Beach
  • Veteran's Day Ceremonies in Front Royal, VA
  • Christmas Parades in Fredericksburg, VA, Richmond, VA, and Manassas, VA

Aside from his duties on campus, Mr. Richards is a founder and co-director of the Front Royal-Warren County American Legion Community Band. He is treasurer of the Military School Band Association and organizer of the Association’s annual Military School Band Festival, a three-day clinic for the top musicians and band directors from military academies and colleges from across the nation.

Mr. Richards is often recognized for his talent and dedication.  Honors awarded to him include:

  • Mentor of the Third Quarter for 2004-05 school year
  • Outstanding Educator at R-MA by The United Methodist Foundation for Christian Higher Education (2000)
  • Exemplary Teacher at R-MA by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church (1997)
  • Teacher of the Year at R-MA in 1985-1986 and 2009-2010
  • Teacher of the 4th Quarter at R-MA, 2009-2010
  • M.M.E. Shenandoah Conservatory (of Shenandoah University)
  • B.M.E. Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music
  • Courses: Handbell Choir, Band
  • R-MA Mentor