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Pepperdine Hosts The Ascending Voice III

Watch this 2010 Christian Chronicle video interview with Pepperdine Provost, Darryl Tippens, about The Ascending Voice.

Pepperdine's triennial international symposium and choral festival of sacred a cappella music will return for the third time Thursday to Saturday, May 9 to 11, on the Malibu campus.

The Ascending Voice III is devoted exclusively to a cappella music in Christian worship. In addition to lectures and workshop presentations by the world's leading authorities on this rich style of worship, the symposium's daily concert lineup includes performances by: Top collegiate choral groups, Sweet Honey In The Rock ®, ­The Los Angeles Master Chorale, and Choral clinician Dr. Allen R. Hightower of Luther College.

"A great deal of this year's symposium is built around learning and singing hymns of many different types—old and new, classic European works, and new melodies from the developing world," says Darryl Tippens, University Provost. "Styles of music will range widely from the most exquisite classical pieces to gospel, Sacred Harp (Southern "shape-note" singing), chant, and spiritual. And the music will be created by a range of singers—from amateurs to the most professionally trained vocal musicians in the country, like the Los Angeles Master Chorale or the exquisite African-American group, Sweet Honey in the Rock ®. We expect this music to be more than entertaining. We expect it to be life transforming for those who join us."

Highlights of the event include a keynote address from Mike Cope, director of Ministry Outreach in Pepperdine's Church Relations, on May 9, followed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale concert that evening; a Festival Choir Concert in the evening of May 10; a Taize Style worship service on May 11 led by Pepperdine University Chaplain, Dave Lemley, followed that evening with a concert by Sweet Honey In The Rock ®; and daily concerts every afternoon in Stauffer Chapel by various collegiate groups.

The 2013 event is the third of its kind at Pepperdine University, following two successful events in 2007 and 2010, which drew large numbers of a cappella, and music in general, fans to the campus for the uniquely-designed event.

"The Ascending Voice is many things at once—part convention, part scholarly conference, part music festival—but most of all it is a gathering of people from all walks of life who love music, especially the music of the human voice," Tippens notes.

"I find it challenging to explain [the event] because it's 'genre-transcending.' It's entertainment; it's educational; it's communal; it's worship; it's play—altogether. For three days, people from different Christian traditions (Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox) join together to experience some of the most beautiful music ever composed, and not only to hear it, but also to sing it. It's difficult to describe the event in a word except perhaps 'amazing.'"

General admission to the symposium is free, with evening concert tickets and housing/meal plans sold separately. For more information, contact the Provost's Office at (310) 506-4261 or visit The Ascending Voice III website to register.

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