Ray Groff (1887-1950)

Ray Groff, Director of the Fall River Symphony Orchestra (Photo from the Groff Family)

Ray Groff was born on February 20, 1887, in Newport, Rhode Island. He was the son of Martha and Henry Groff. He attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and taught at the conservatory for a brief time before returning to Newport to teach music.

New England Conservatory Student Card (Photo from the Groff Family)

In 1910, Ray lived with his parents at a home on 14 Poplar Ave. His occupation is listed as a violinist and teacher.

Excerpt from the 1910 United States Census

In 1910 he was also performing as the violinist with the Mendelssohn Trio.

1910 Photo of Ray Groff (Photo from the Groff Family)
Description of 1910 Photo (Photo from Groff Family)

He and his students would perform regularly in all over the island, and his orchestra performed in Jamestown at the Casino and Bay View Hotel.

He won international praise for his work as the conductor of the Fall River Symphony Orchestra.

He would become the band and orchestra director at Rogers High School later in his life, and was a public school music teacher beginning in 1938.

Photo from the Groff Family
Photo from the Groff Family

Ray Groff died in November of 1950. You can read his obituary below.

November 24, 1950 Newport Mercury

The impact he had on the lives of his students and the community is obvious from the letter and tribute below.

Provided by the Groff Family
Provided by the Groff Family

Special thanks to the Groff family for providing photos for this bio.