William Averitt (b. 1948)
William Averitt is the composer of numerous works which have received performances throughout the United States and in Western Europe, Russia and Asia. He has received several composer fellowships, grants and commissions from a wide variety of sources such as the National Endowment for the Arts (twice), VMTA/MTNA (five times), Meet the Composer and the Atlanta Chamber Players. Recent commissions have been completed for Texas Lutheran University (The Deepness of the Blue, From Dreams and Scenes, premiered in 2012), Choral Arts of Seattle (The Dream Keeper, premiered in 2009), VMTA (The Memory of Shadows, premiered in 2007), organist Dudley Oakes (The Seventh Seal, premiered at the Washington National Cathedral in 2006), the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh (Lacrymae, premiered in 2003), Opus 3 Trio of Washington, DC (Harmonia, premiered in 2001) and Murray State University Concert Choir and Shenandoah Conservatory Chamber Choir (both for a cappella Latin motets for Spring 2001 tours of Italy).
Mr. Averitt also has been active as a conductor. He was Founder and, for ten seasons, Music Director of Winchester Musica Viva, a community-based professional-level chamber choir. In December 1988, he was presented the first annual “Artie” Award for Excellence in Music by the Shenandoah Arts Council as a reflection of his work with this ensemble in the Winchester area. In the late 1970s, he conducted several seasons with the Front Royal Oratorio Society. He was Founder/Music Director of Consort of Voices in 1995-96. From 1981 to 1987, he was Conductor of Orchestras and Opera at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University.
Averitt, a native of Paducah, Kentucky, received the B.M. in Composition with highest honors from Murray (KY) State University and the M.M. and D.M. in Composition from the Florida State University through an N.D.E.A. Fellowship. In addition, he did summer studies at Tanglewood (Bruno Maderna Memorial Fellowship); Yale (Ellen Battel Stoeckel Fellowship); the Haydn Performance Seminar in Eisenstadt, Austria; the Wolf Trap - American University in Washington, DC; Bach Performance Seminars in Stuttgart, Germany and Brattleboro, Vermont; and at the N.E.H.-sponsored “Seminar in Editing Music of the Classic Period” at the University of Maryland. His composition teachers included James Woodard at Murray State, John Boda at Florida State and Betsy Jolas at Tanglewood.
Dr. Averitt is Professor Emeritus of Music and formerly Coordinator of Composition at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia where he was on the faculty from 1973 to 2012. In the Spring 2000, he was presented with the Wilkins Appreciation Award for Faculty Excellence by the University.