• Mission statement: To enrich the lives of our singers, audiences, and communities and to sustain the tradition of the choral arts by presenting superior performances of sacred and secular music.
  • "We are blessed to have a director and an accompanist who are not only extremely talented at what they do, but also engender a love of fine music and instill that desire and dedication to giving our very best in each one of us."
    Betty Cunningham, alto
  • "The opportunity to be a part of this enthusiastic group of singers is a real joy! It has been said that "music washes away from the soul the dust of every-day life." If this is so, then making music with the chorale under the direction of Michael Main provides the polish and the shine."
    Ellen Adams, soprano
  • "An amateur singer my entire life, I have sung with various groups all over the U.S... I carefully researched several area choruses until I found just the "right" choral fit for me - the ACW. It is a tremendous JOY to be singing again with such a wonderful group, a superb director, and most capable accompanist. Hooray!"
    Barb Savidge, tenor

Testimonies…

"The Arts Chorale of Winchester is a musical experience worthy of notice by all who love music in Winchester and beyond."
-Owen W. Lowe

"What a joyful time I'm having! Inspiring music, wonderful friendships, and a top-notch director and accompanist."
-Carole Pumphrey

"I have participated in church choirs all of my life with no formal training. Michael has taken my enjoyment and personal enrichment of music to new levels. He teaches us skills that carry over from season to season. It's hard work, but the results are a new high for me."
-Dave Thalman, baritone

The Arts Chorale of Winchester came into being twelve years ago, when I shared my vision for a first-rate community chorus with the Dean and Arts Academy Director of Shenandoah Conservatory. Under the auspices of the Arts Academy, the Chorale flourished: we attracted a growing number of talented, committed singers; we performed a rich mix of musical programming; and our audiences often filled the house.

We are proud to have entered our second decade as an independent, nonprofit organization. Shenandoah will continue to support us through access to their choral music library as well as use of their performance space and we will count on the continued support of our loyal audiences and our local/regional communities.

As founding artistic director, my purpose has always been to create opportunities for performers and audiences to be both challenged and gratified. Making music is less about executing the notes on a page than about igniting a passion – in both the singer and the listener – that excite and extend their experience of the choral arts.

We do this by tapping into a rich repertoire – from major works by the great classical composers to commissioned works by contemporary composers; from jazz to Broadway musicals to folk music and traditional hymns. We do it by seeking unique performance opportunities such as our recent Prelude to Choral Evensong at the Washington National Cathedral and our recent collaboration with the Masterworks Chorus of the Shenandoah Valley. “Pop, Swing and a Little Jazz”, the groups’ first CD, was released last Fall at the Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival. These unique performance opportunities have produced lasting memories for all involved.

What is next for us as we envision the coming decade? Beyond continuing to build our reputation as an outstanding community choir, we look to exploring new ways to live into our mission of enriching the lives of our singers, audiences, and communities.  We are excited, for example, about pursuing opportunities to commission and perform new pieces by renowned composers. We view the possibilities as endless.

Now, visit our  ’performances’ page…and join the excitement as we launch our 2013-2014 season!

Michael Main, artistic director