- M.M., Master of Music, University of Michigan, 1974
- B.M.E., Bachelor of Music Education, University of Michigan, 1973
In 1975, Gwyn Richards was selected as one of 12 conductors for the NEA Conducting Workshop, receiving the opportunity to conduct the Saint Paul Orchestra. At this workshop, he was advised by Margaret Hillis, Otto-Werner Mueller, and Alfred Mann to study with Julius Herford at the Indiana University School of Music.
Dean Richards served as director of Choral Activities at McGill University in Montreal. From 1980-1986, he was the Assistant Dean of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Rice University, where he started a master's program in choral conducting. He then went on to serve as Associate Dean of Music and Associate Professor of Choral Music at the University of Southern California.
In 1992, he returned to the IU School of Music as Director of Admissions, eventually becoming the Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. In July 2001 he was appointed as Dean, after serving as Interim Dean since 1999.