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.
In 1910, Ray lived with his parents at a home on 14 Poplar Ave. His occupation is listed as a violinist and teacher.
In 1910 he was also performing as the violinist with the Mendelssohn Trio.
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.
Ray Groff died in November of 1950. You can read his obituary below.
The impact he had on the lives of his students and the community is obvious from the letter and tribute below.
Special thanks to the Groff family for providing photos for this bio.
P.O. Box 539
Newport, RI 02840