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Averitt, William

William Averitt (b. 1948) is the composer of numerous works that have received performances throughout the United States and in Western Europe, Russia, and Asia. He has received numerous composer fellowships, grants and commissions from a wide variety of sources including the National Endowment for the Arts, VMTA/MTNA, the Hans Kindler Foundation of the Library of Congress, Choral Arts Northwest, Texas Lutheran University, the University of Missouri, Missouri State University, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Bradley University, the Mid-Atlantic AGO, the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, Opus 3 Trio, the Paducah (KY) Symphony Orchestra and others. His two-hour St. Matthew Passion was co-commissioned by eleven southeastern university choral departments and premiered in 2001.


His 1991 score Afro-American Fragments (Langston Hughes) for SATB, soprano and piano 4-hands was the winning work of the 1992 Roger Wagner Center for Choral Studies Choral Composition Competition. It appeared on Conspirare’s acclaimed 2004 CD …through the green fuse… More recently, he has written two similarly scored cycles on Langston Hughes’ poetry: The Dream Keeper (commissioned by Choral Arts Northwest and included on their award-winning 2009 CD Mornings Like This) and The Deepness of the Blue (2012 by Texas Lutheran University). All three Hughes cycles were released on the UMKC Chamber Choir’s recording entitled The Deepness of the Blue. His Tunebook for woodwind quintet won the chamber music category in the 2012 Newly Published Music Competition sponsored by the National Flute Association.


Dr. Averitt’s music has been the subject of two doctoral treatises. In addition to Walton, his works have been published by ECS, Treble Clef, Trevco, Falls House, Little Piper, Galaxy, Fred Bock Music, Subito, ALRY Publications, Concordia and MMB Publications. He 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.