Winchester Musica Viva is an independent chamber choir in its 43rd season of presenting the finest choral literature from all musical periods and styles to audiences throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and neighboring states. The choir is comprised of professional level volunteer singers from different vocations and backgrounds who share a love of choral music and a commitment to excellence in performance.
The chorus was founded in 1981 by Dr. William Averitt, Professor Emeritus of Music, and former Coordinator of Composition at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music at Shenandoah University. Dr. Kenneth Nafziger, Professor Emeritus of Music at Eastern Mennonite University, served as music director from 1992-2002. Donald Paul Richardson of Washington, DC conducted the chorus from 2002-2005. Dr. Nafziger returned as music director in 2006 until his retirement. Dr. Bryce Hayes, Associate Professor of Choral Music at James Madison University, was named as Artistic Director as the ensemble begins its 2022-2023 concert season.
WMV enjoys a widespread reputation for fine choral music, with three successful international tours and performances by invitation at events sponsored by such organizations as the Contemporary American Theater Festival, the Contemporary Music Festival, and the American Choral Directors Association.
Winchester Musica Viva is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, not affiliated with any community, religious, or educational organization or institution. The ensemble is supported in part by the Marion Park Lewis Foundation for the Arts.