Ricky Goodwyn named director of Staunton Choral Society

Published 5:01 pm Monday, July 31, 2023

Ricky Goodwyn Jr., a native of Isle of Wight County and second year graduate student at James Madison University, has been named the new choral director of the Staunton Choral Society.

Goodwyn graduated from Windsor High School and the Governor’s School of the Arts in 2017, and is a former student of Shelly Milam-Ratiff, Mary Matthews-Garrett and Kevin McMillan. Prior to entering college, he gave his first-ever solo recital in Smithfield for Christ Episcopal Church’s classical music program, Sundays at Four.

At JMU, Goodwyn was the only freshman selected for a paid position at Otterbein United Methodist Church, where he has been a soloist with the choir for the past five years, and where he gained his first experience as a choral director. 

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Goodwyn obtained his bachelor’s degree from JMU in 2022 and is currently majoring in vocal performance and choral conducting for his graduate degree. Goodwyn recently married a JMU classmate, Anna Valentino, who is a choral director with Harrisonburg City Public Schools.

Rehearsals for the Choral Society under Goodwyn’s leadership begin Sept. 11 at Christ Lutheran Church in Staunton. Christmas concerts are already on the calendar for Dec. 3 at Christ Lutheran Church and Dec. 17 at Blackfriars Playhouse, also in Staunton.