A Tribute to Beloved Teacher Mr. Hatton


The St. Mary’s Academy Community learned of Travis Hatton’s sudden passing on Oct. 4, and we share our heartfelt condolences with the entire community.

Mr. Hatton’s wide interests and talents led him to work with opera companies, orchestras, chamber groups, choruses, bands and schools.

The St. Mary’s Academy was blessed to have him as a music instructor and orchestra conductor. He was also Director of Orchestras at Valley Catholic School in Beaverton.

In addition to his dedication as an educator, he simultaneously served as artistic director and conductor of the Salem Philharmonia Orchestra, and music director of the Beaverton Symphony Orchestra, as well as for the Sunnyside Symphony Orchestra at the Sunnyside SDA Church in Portland. 

His versatile conducting career has placed him on the podium of a broad spectrum of musical groups in Europe and the United States.

In the Northwest, was in demand as a guest conductor, appearing with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (WA), the Washington-Idaho Symphony Orchestra (Pullman, WA – Moscow, ID), the Rose City Chamber Orchestra, the Mt. Hood Pops Orchestra, and the Columbia Symphony Orchestra. 

He also appeared as a guest conductor for the Portland Festival Symphony and with the Oregon Music Festival, conducting the Orpheus Academy Orchestra – a summer chamber orchestra of advanced young musicians. Mr. Hatton also conducted a production of the Marriage of Figaro with the Eugene Opera, and directed performances of Amahl and the Night Visitors, Hansel and Gretel, and The Magic Flute with the Vancouver Children’s Opera (WA).

Hatton was a dedicated educator with an impressive teaching career. At Oregon State University, he taught classroom conducting, served as wind ensemble conductor, and served as interim director of the Symphonic Band from 1998 to 2000. He was also assistant conductor of orchestras at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, an instructor of conducting at Wellesley College in Massachusetts  and conductor of the East Central Indiana Youth Symphony.

Mr. Hatton held posts during his five years in Europe between 1992 -1997, including conductor of the Moravian Opera Theater (Olomouc, the Czech Republic), artistic director of the City Opera Theater of Usti nad Labem, also in the Czech Republic, and on-site director of the International Opera Workshop in Opava, Czech Republic. During this time, he also guest-conducted orchestras in Poland, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.

Hatton participated in many conducting programs and workshops during his career, including The Aspen Conducting Institute and The Festival at Sandpoint. His teachers and instructors included Gunther Schuller, Carl St. Clair, Murray Sidlin, Harold Faurberman, Peiro Bellugi, and Leonard Atherton.  He was called “A very gifted young conductor” by the late Georg Tintner.

Hatton earned a bachelor of music degree Magna Cum Laude in Music Theory and Composition from the University of the Pacific and a Master of Music degree in Orchestral Conducting from the New England Conservatory of Music. 

He is survived by his wife Lynelle and their two children Kyle and Kara.