Asbury University chorale performs Verdi’s Requiem with Lexington Philharmonic

Published 10:38 am Thursday, March 28, 2019

From staff reports

Throughout history, collaboration and the arts have gone hand-in-hand with some of the greatest works created at the intersection of ensemble, inspiration and spontaneous generation.
For Dr. Vicki Bell, Asbury University chorale director and music theory professor, this special relationship between collaboration and creation is essential in the artistic process.
“It’s important that we meet other musicians with whom we can exchange ideas and performance techniques,” Bell said.
It’s for this reason, that Asbury’s Chorale will perform Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem in collaboration with the Lexington Philharmonic and combined choirs from Berea College, Eastern Kentucky University and Transylvania University.
Requiem will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on March 29 at the Singletary Center for the Arts in Lexington. Tickets range in price from $25-$75.
Celebrated soloists D’Ana Lombard, Nancy Maultsby, Cooper Nolan and Peixin Chen will also be featured in the performance.
This show marks the eighth year of collaboration between Asbury and the Lexington Philharmonic. According to Bell, this spring’s collaboration came to be after Conductor of the Lexington Philharmonic Scott Terrell requested Asbury’s participation in the grandiose, somber show.
“The performance combines the forces of the professional musicians of the Lexington Philharmonic together with four outstanding collegiate choirs from around the region, a collaboration which echoes Verdi’s original vision for the Requiem,” Bell said.
This performance will be particularly special as it is a requiem, which is a composition for a Catholic funeral mass. The text serves as a request for rest and light perpetual for those who have died.
This particular requiem was written in response to the death of Italian writer Alessandro Manzoni, whose work Verdi admired. Manzoni was considered a cultural icon and the whole of Italy mourned his death in 1873. After being too grief-stricken to attend the funeral, Verdi debuted the mass on the first anniversary of Manzoni’s death.
Verdi’s Requiem is unique in that it combines the dramatics of opera with symphonic writing, straying from the style of a traditional requiem.
“Verdi is best known for his operas, of course, and while the text of the Requiem is sacred, there are many moments of operatic splendor,” Bell said.
Concert-goers can expect to be wowed by the deeply spiritual aspect of the music as it reflects on the subjects of life and death. Throughout the work, themes of fear of judgment, unworthiness, resignation and, finally, hope embody the lyrics and rhythms.
“The audience can anticipate an amazing sound from the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra,” Bell said. “The choir is comprised of nearly 150 singers from Asbury, Berea College, Eastern Kentucky University and Transylvania.”
A pre-concert buffet will be offered at the Hilary J. Boone Center at 5 p.m. on March 29. Buffet tickets are $28 and can be purchased at the Boone Center via telephone at 859-257-1133.
To purchase tickets to the performance visit

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