Voices of Ascension 

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Grammy-nominated Voices of Ascension, founded in 1990 and directed by conductor Dennis Keene, presents exceptional performances of great works of music for chorus and orchestra. Over the course of its 28 year history, Voices of Ascension has produced an annual concert series, released Grammy-nominated recordings, and engaged in artistic collaborations with the San Francisco Symphony, Mostly Mozart Festival, José Limón Dance, the Mark Morris Dance Group, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and others.  These performances have won acclaim for their ‘sheer musical excellence’ (NY Times), the chorus for being the ‘finest in American choral music’ (Stereophile), and Dr. Keene as the ‘leader most widely touted to pick up the mantle of Robert Shaw’ (NY Times).

VoA professional ensemble musicians collectively share the finest credentials in classical music, boasting degrees from and teaching appointments at major conservatories and universities including Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes/New School, New England Conservatory, Eastman, Oberlin, Indiana University – Harvard, Yale, Columbia, NYU, CUNY, SUNY and Rutgers among others. They regularly perform with orchestras including the NY Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Orpheus, The Knights, Philip Glass Ensemble, and Boston Baroque; the Metropolitan, Chicago Lyric, Houston Grand and New York City Operas, with vocal ensembles Conspirare, Lionheart, Seraphic Fire, Waverly Consort; and comprise the core ensemble for many NY professional choruses including Musica Sacra, St. Ignatius Loyola,  St. John the Divine and Trinity Wall Street.

The ensemble shares a commitment to artistic excellence and helps to sustain the choral tradition by supporting emerging soloists in VoA’s Young Artist Program and serving as the chamber ensemble for the VoA Conductor Academy.  Recent performances  have been described as “inspired” (NY Times 4/4/15) and “richly colored, impressive, and beautifully balanced” (Wall Street Journal 2/11/15).  Voices of Ascension is proud to present the musical integrity and sensitivity of these extraordinary musicians.

Mission Statement

Voices of Ascension seeks to enthrall its audiences through outstanding performances and exemplary interpretations of choral music. It sustains a vibrant artistic community of professional vocal and instrumental musicians in New York City through a broad repertory, dynamic programming, and strategic collaborations across the tri-state area. 

The chorus’s full-throated but unforced forte singing was thrilling, but even more impressive was its characterful handling of the quiet writing that forms the heart of the [Duruflé Requiem], mellow and radiant
— The New York Times