Originally from South Jersey, Justin Raffa received a bachelor’s degree in music education with a vocal concentration from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, where he studied conducting and group vocal technique with James Jordan. Justin began his professional career in Bisbee, Arizona, where he taught high school choir and drama, in addition to directing the Bisbee Community Chorus. He later went on to earn a master’s degree in choral conducting at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Justin is beginning his tenth season as Artistic Director of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers in the Tri-Cities and was recently appointed Repertoire and Resource Chair of Community Choirs for the Northwest Region of the American Choral Directors Association. Justin has sung as part of the Berkshire Choral Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Voces Novae et Antiquae, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus, the Festival Chorus of the Oregon Bach Festival, and continues to perform as a founding member of True Concord. As a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir under Joseph Flummerfelt, 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 in the Pacific Northwest, alongside his friend and voice instructor Reginald Unterseher.
Justin is a passionate advocate for the arts, and the City of Richland Arts Commission honored him with its 2011 award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to the Arts. He is a board member of Visit Tri-Cities, the Columbia Basin Badger Club and the Arts Center Task Force, whose goal is to build a Performing Arts Center for the Tri-Cities. He has been awarded as the Washington State 2013 Outstanding Emerging Choral Conductor, the Columbia Basin Music Educators Association 2014 Friend of Music, and is a graduate of Leadership Tri-Cities Class XIX. In fall 2016 Justin was appointed to the Washington State Arts Commission by Governor Jay Inslee after serving a term as chair of the City of Richland’s Arts Commission. Justin lives with his partner Molly Holleran, singer and voice teacher extraordinaire, and their longhaired dachshund Coda.