News and Events
Pepperdine Presents Ascending Voice International A Cappella Music Festival
The largest and most eclectic gathering ever devoted exclusively to a cappella music is scheduled to take place at Pepperdine University in Malibu from Monday, June 4, through Thursday, June 7. Called Ascending Voice, the diverse international four-day festival will feature unique lectures, presentations, and performances.
The program will showcase a variety of musical styles with lectures upon or performances of sacred harp music, Orthodox chants, Anglican choral music, Amish “slow singing,” Latin American choral music, African hymnody, and Taiwanese indigenous Christian music of the Bunun tribe.
Each day of Ascending Voice will conclude with a concert at 7:30 p.m. in Smothers Theatre as part of the Choral Concert Series. The Concord Ensemble will kick off the series on Monday, June 4. The group, comprised of six male vocalists, presents an experiential program of a cappella mystical and sacred music by both ancient and contemporary composers. The Concord Ensemble gained international recognition in 1998 when it won the Early Music America/Dorian Records Recording Competition. Since then it has recorded two CDs under the Dorian label and toured worldwide with performances of music of the medieval, Renaissance, and contemporary periods.
The following night, Tuesday, June 5, Cappella Romana will perform. The all-male a cappella ensemble combines passion with scholarship in its exploration of the musical traditions of the Christian East and West, from the earliest notated medieval manuscripts to world premieres by living composers. Following last year's sold-out performances at the Smithsonian Institution and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Cappella Romana presents virtuoso medieval Byzantine chants from St. Catherine's Monastery, Sinai, Egypt, including psalms, hymns, and mystical chants from the Play of the Three Children in the Fiery Furnace, Byzantium's only liturgical drama.
On Wednesday, June 6, Arcadia Coro de Camara takes the stage. The award-winning choir from Medellín, Colombia, will perform new musical compositions and Latin American choir music, in particular. The group has participated in several international choral festivals and competitions, winning a Gold Medal at the Rodas (Greece) International Choir Competition in 2002. In 2005 Arcadia was one of four choirs selected to perform at the seventh Symposium of Choral Music in Kyoto, Japan. In July 2006 the choir participated in the prestigious 22nd Béla Bártok Competition in Debrecen, Hungary, winning Third Place among the chamber choirs.
A performance by Anonymous 4 will follow on Thursday, June 7. Renowned for their unearthly vocal blend and virtuosic ensemble singing, the four women of Anonymous 4 combine musical, literary, and historical scholarship with contemporary performance intuition as they interweave music with poetry and narrative. In addition to their unmatched medieval repertoire, Anonymous 4 often reaches into the realm of contemporary music as well as traditional music of the British Isles and America.