Richard Gordley holds the degree of B.S in Music Education from Western Illinois University where he studied conducting with Hugo Magliocco, Henry Manfredini and Rolla Foley. His conducting experience there included the opera workshop, the concert band, clarinet choir, and chamber orchestra.
Rich went on to teach band in the Illinois public schools for 13 years before beginning a vocation in computer programming while continuing his musical pursuits as an avocation.
Before moving to Des Moines and joining the Des Moines Community Orchestra he had opportunities to serve as assistant conductor of the Prairie Wind Ensemble, an adult concert band, conducted musical theater for the River Valley Players, and served for eight years as worship leader at the Eagles' Nest Christian Fellowship in Chillicothe, Illinois.
Rich joined DMCO in 1998 and has held the chair of principal bassoon for the last 14 years. Rich heard his first live "Messiah" in 1962 and beginning the following year has participated every year since in live performances either as an instrumentalist or member of audience choruses such as that of the performance today.