Asbury Chorale to Perform with LexPhil – Asbury University
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November 7, 2016

Choir in black dress posing on stairs in a cathedral
The Asbury Chorale posed on the steps of Wells Cathedral during a 2016 choral residency in the U.K.

WILMORE, Ky. — The Asbury University Chorale will collaborate with the Lexington Philharmonic and other collegiate choirs in a performance of Stephen Paulus’s “To Be Certain of The Dawn” on Friday, Nov. 11 at the Singletary Center for the Arts in Lexington. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Purchase tickets online at, or call (859) 233-4226 (tickets cost $35-85 for general admission, $11 for students). Friends and family of choir members can claim a 20 percent discount by using the code “choir” online or on the phone. 

“I’m most excited about the impact that this could have on listeners,” said Dr. Vicki Bell, director of the Asbury Chorale. “The subject is such an incredible one to try to relay to an audience. With three choirs, children’s choir and soloists, the combination should be quite a spectacle.”

Paulus’s oratorio was commissioned in 2005 to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Nazi death camps and the 40th anniversary of “Nostra Aetate (“In Our Times”), the Vatican II document that condemned blaming Jews for the death of Christ.

“Paulus says he adopted the Biblical teaching, ‘You should love your neighbor as yourself,’ as the main theme of the work,” Bell said. “The phrase is used both in Hebrew and in German — and at one point I found myself tearing up when the two languages were mingled in a section that had a Brahms-like sweep of aching tenderness.”

Choir posing for a picture on stage
The Asbury Chorale is an SATB ensemble made up of students from a wide variety of majors.

Friday’s concert will be the fourth time the Chorale has collaborated with the Lexington Philharmonic. Performing with a full orchestra and other collegiate choirs is extra work for Chorale members, Bell says, but it affords an incredible musical experience. 

“I started doing a poll of the students afterwards asking if the time and energy were worth it, and it’s a resounding ‘Yes’ every time,” Bell said. “Students get to sing with a professional orchestra, see world-class soloists in action, and share camaraderie with a huge group of people pursuing a common goal.”

An auditioned SATB vocal ensemble, the Asbury Chorale supplements its on-campus performance schedule with off-campus events and tours, both national and international. Four international tours in the past 10 years have included performances at St. Peter’s Basilica and the Cathedral of St. Ignatius in Rome and the Duomo in Florence (Santa Maria del Fiore).

The Chorale has also completed two choral residencies in the U.K., serving at Gloucester Cathedral in 2009, and Bristol Cathedral in 2016. While in England, singers presented a concert at Bath Abbey during the prestigious Bath Music Festival. The Chorale has also performed at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and Wells Cathedral.


To learn more about Asbury’s Music Department, visit: