• 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

Testimonials

"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

ACW Michael Main Head Shot

Michael Edward Main, founding artistic director/conductor of the Arts Chorale of Winchester (VA), began his conducting career at age 13 when he organized and directed his church’s first youth choir. In his four decades of choral experience, he has prepared and conducted major choral works of Bach, Handel, Mozart, Faure, Bernstein, Britten, Poulenc, Vierne, Gounod and others. In addition, Mr. Main served as music director of the Loudoun Chorale, was founding director of the Loudoun-Robey Chorus, a charter member of the Consort of Voices, performed sixteen seasons with Winchester Musica Viva Chamber Choir (including two European tours) and eight seasons with the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival both as chorister and soloist.

Mr. Main is an alum of Shenandoah University’s Conservatory of Music in Winchester, VA. In 1997, he was awarded SU’s Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to the Community. Conservatory teachers include John Atwood, Bard Suverkrop and Janette Ogg (voice), James Laster and David Stutzenberger (choral conducting) and Karen Keating (graduate choral conducting).

Mr. Main has completed advanced choral studies with Donald Neuen (UCLA), Joseph Jennings and Matt Oltman (Chanticleer), performing with Chanticleer at the Summer Choral Institute at Sonoma State University (CA). He has been privileged to work with renowned English choral specialists Philip Moore (York Minster), Malcolm Archer (Winchester College) and David Flood (Canterbury).

In addition to being a full-time hairstylist (owner of Manes by Michael, Ltd.) and the ACW’s artistic director, Mr. Main continues to serve the choral art as soloist, conductor and adjudicator for church and scholastic choral events throughout the region.