"Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come."
—Song of Solomon 2:12
It is our great pleasure to welcome you to The Ascending Voice IV, the fourth international symposium of sacred a cappella music at Pepperdine University. Nine years ago we dreamed of a unique gathering of those who love the sound of pure human voices uniting in praise and adoration. We believed then—and we believe now more than ever—that the appreciation for a cappella singing transcends time, cultures, and even denominational boundaries. Indeed, there is an obvious universal hunger to sing and hear the best vocal music composed in praise of the Creator.
Ascending Voice IV, like previous symposia, is noteworthy for its diversity. Here you will experience beloved hymns known in almost all churches balanced by stirring new compositions from around the world. Here you will experience both the traditional and the contemporary; medieval chant and Reformation psalter. Here Taizé tunes and old Sacred Harp refrains find their proper place in the repertoire.
One feature of this year's event is a special emphasis upon practice. Every attendee will be given the opportunity to sing various styles of music. We begin and conclude each day with periods of heartfelt worship, and each day features a variety of workshops. So, please come prepared to enter into the singing.
Ascending Voice is more than a conference to stimulate the mind or satisfy the appetite for virtuoso aesthetic performance. It is a soul-shaping gathering where deep bonds of fellowship form through worship, meals, and conversation. Vocal music becomes, in the words of poet and musician George Herbert, "the way to heaven's door."
Thank you for participating in this unique week of sacred song!
Darryl Tippens, Ryan Board, and N. Lincoln Hanks