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Ronald A. Matthews, DMA

Professor of Music; Executive Director, Music and Fine Arts Division; Chair, Music Department
Specialty: Director of Turning Point, Composition, Music Theory
Email Address: rmatthew@eastern.edu
Office Phone: 610-341-5874

Biography:

Dr. Ron Matthews began his musical studies at the age of four, on piano. At the age of eight, he began trumpet study with the former first chair of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He began his organ studies at the age of twelve and took his first church organist position at the age of fourteen. Having received a Philadelphia Board of Education music scholarship, he did his undergraduate work in Church Music and Organ at Westminster Choir College where he graduated Magna cum laude and received both the Senior Class Conducting Award and the Christian Leadership Award. During this time, he represented the Princeton area college community as a representative to the annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast held in Washington D.C.

Dr. Matthews received the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Temple University. At the age of 22, he was invited to conduct The Jerusalem Chamber Orchestra for a recording project in Tel Aviv, Israel. Dr. Matthews also conducted the national tour of this project throughout major cities in the United States during the following year.

At the age of 23, Dr. Matthews was invited to join the faculty of Nyack College in Nyack, NY as the Director of Choral Activities. In 1981, Dr. Matthews received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Combs College of Music in Composition with an emphasis in Orchestral Conducting. Twice, he was the guest conductor at the annual performance of Handel’s Messiah at West Point Chapel, featuring a combined community chorus of 300 singers with professional orchestra. In 1980, Dr. Matthews accepted the post of Organist-Music Director of Calvary Presbyterian Church in Willow Grove, PA where he served for 25 years. In 2005, he accepted the call of Pastor of Worship Arts at Church of the Saviour in Wayne, PA, where he still serves. From 1982-1992, Dr. Matthews was the Chair of the Department of Music at what is now Cairn University. Since 1992, Dr. Matthews has been Professor of Music and Director of Music Programs at Eastern University. He is the Executive Director of the Fine and Performing Arts Division and the Chair of the Music Department. In addition to his university and church posts, Dr. Matthews conducts the Jubilate Deo Chorale and Orchestra of New Jersey, which is a 75 voice auditioned chorale and a 65 piece professional orchestra, with whom he has conducted and performed in France, Italy, and the Vatican, performing sacred and classical choral and orchestral music. He is a commissioned and published composer and is active in coaching, accompanying and chamber music.

Dr. Matthews was a Thomas F. Staley Foundation lecturer/artist and he serves on several professional and denominational boards and task forces. He performs regularly with his brother, Rev. Dr. Gary Matthews, in concerts and workshops throughout the United States and Canada. They have released six recordings of historic and contemporary church music.

Dr. Matthews holds Choir Master and Colleague certifications with the American Guild of Organists and received a four-year faculty development grant for jazz study. In 2013, He received the Provost Fellowship Research Grant for study of the acquisition and pedagogy of jazz improvisation. He is listed in numerous international and national civic and professional Who's Who publications.

Ron is joyfully and gratefully married to his wife, Pamela. They have two sons, David and Andrew, and enjoy travel and tennis.

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