Richard Householder began his career as Director of Choral Activities at the University of Windsor in 1973 and retired from that post in 2006 with the rank of Professor Emeritus. Prior to his arrival in Windsor he taught at Eastern Washington State College (now Eastern Washington University) and at Hastings High School in Hastings, NE. A native of Alliance, Nebraska, he is a graduate of Hastings College, NE and holds a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Further studies have taken place with Robert Shaw, Elmer Iseler, David Willcocks and Lynn Whitten.
Professor Householder has also been active as a community musician and founded the Windsor Classic Chorale in 1977 to provide the City of Windsor with a superior choral organization. Its first performance was a presentation of Handel’s Messiah with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and local soloists. Throughout its first two decades it sang often with the Windsor Symphony as well as with three other symphony orchestras, and performed under the direction of two of Canada’s greatest choral conductors, Elmer Iseler and Jon Washburn.
In addition to the Windsor Classic Chorale, Professor Householder was the founding conductor of the Windsor Symphony Chorus, the Essex Singers, the Windsor Community Choir and the University of Windsor Chamber Choir. His choirs have performed regularly with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, and with the Windsor Classic Chorale, Chamber Choir and Ontario Youth Choir he was featured in five programs for CBC Television. His choirs also have been heard numerous times on CBC Radio.
He has conducted the Windsor Symphony Orchestra on eight separate occasions, and is frequently a guest conductor for other Canadian and American choirs. He has been a conductor of the Ontario Youth Choir, and for two years was a member of the U.S. Army Chorus in Washington, D.C. Since 1975 he has been a member of the professional Adult Choir at Christ Episcopal Church in Detroit, MI.
He guest conducted performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in December 2009 and with the Detroit Choral Artists and Birmingham Bloomfield Symphony Orchestra in December 2010. From 2010 to 2015 he served as guest conductor of the Fort Street Chorale and Orchestra’s annual spring concert, leading them in Handel’s Jeptha, Honegger’s King David, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, and Requiems by Mozart and Brahms. In 2014 and 2015 he also conducted the group’s annual Messiah performances.
Under Professor Householder’s leadership, the Windsor Classic Chorale was the 1998 recipient of the Mayor’s Arts Organization of the Year award. In May of 2016 he was selected for the Windsor Endowment for the Arts Performing Arts Leadership Award.