Justin Raffa is Artistic Director of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers and Chorusmaster for the Yakima Symphony Chorus. He also serves as a commissioner to ArtsWA, the Washington State Arts Commission. He came to the Tri-Cities in 2008 from Tucson, where he received a Master of Music degree in choral conducting at the
University of Arizona.
At his graduation, Justin received Outstanding Graduate Student Leadership Awards from both the Graduate & Professional Student Council and the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership, in addition to being nominated for the 2008 Arizona Governor's Arts Award.
He began his professional career as a high school choir and drama teacher in Bisbee, AZ, in addition to directing the Bisbee Community Chorus and serving on the board of the Bisbee Arts Commission.
Since his arrival in the Tri-Cities, Justin has endeavored to build increased collaboration within the local performing arts community. He served as Orchestra Manager of the Mid-Columbia Symphony and Chorus Master of the Oregon East Symphony in Pendleton. Justin has also served as an actor, music director and board member with Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre, music director with Columbia Basin College Summer Showcase productions, conductor of the Three Rivers Children's Chorus, and Music Director at All Saints Episcopal Church in Richland. Additionally, Justin has served as an adjudicator for local festivals and competitions through the Columbia Basin Music Education Association and Washington State Educational Theatre Association.
While in Arizona, Justin was an active member of the Arizona Music Educators Association and served on the Arizona Choral Directors Association state board as Repertoire & Standards Chair for Community Choirs. Justin served as Minister of Music at area churches and taught elementary school choral music in
Originally from South Jersey, Justin is a graduate of Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, NJ, where he received a Bachelor of Music degree in music education with a vocal concentration and was awarded the Rider University President's Award at graduation.
Justin has sung as part of the Berkshire Choral Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Voces Novae et Antiquae, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus, and continues to perform as a founding member of the Tucson Chamber Artists. As a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, Justin sang with some of the world's leading conductors and orchestras. Currently, Justin sings with Male Ensemble Northwest and Chor Anno, two regional ensembles made up of professional choral musicians. He is also a member of the fully professional Oregon Bach Festival chorus which performs each summer in Eugene, OR.
Justin is a passionate advocate for the arts in the community, and the City of Richland Arts Commission honored him with the 2012 award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to the Arts. Justin is also a member of the Richland Rotary Club, and can be seen as a frequent performer and emcee for numerous charitable events across the Tri-City community.