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Voices of Ascension Chorus and Orchestra Fauré Requiem
Russian Orthodox Music

Soprano Dominique Labelle
Bass-baritone Evan Hughes

Thursday, February 5, at 8:00pm


Organist Stephen Tharp

Tuesday, February 24th at 8:00pm
Franck Trois Chorals, Widor Symphonie No. 8

Stephen Tharp is one of today's most internationally prolific concert organists. This recital will feature monuments of French Symphonic organ music.


Audience Response

Bach Mass in B Minor Voices of Ascension Chorus & Orchestra February 27, 2014

My thanks to Maestro Dennis Keene and his Voices of Ascension for a soul-stirring B Minor Mass that kept listeners enthralled from beginning to end. What a treasured memory!

The performance was sublime - a pleasure even on such a blustery night to bask in the glory of Bach.

A true masterpiece performed flawlessly. Bravo for a job well done.

The performance of the Bach B-minor Mass by Voices of Ascension? In a heartfelt word: Perfection!

I have heard this magnificent work performed at least 25 times, over the years. Never more excellently than on Thursday evening, February 27th!  Choir, Soloists, Orchestra, Conductor -- in every note and every part -- splendid! What a joy! Again, thank you!

Enjoyed every moment. Only wish it had gone on and on and on...

The B Minor Mass was an enthralling concert.  The awe inspiring wall of sound from the chorus and orchestra just overwhelmed me.  Bravissimi!

It was a magnificent performance! That choir and orchestra are truly world class!

It was a pleasure to hear the lively tempi.  That gave a freshness and dancelike quality without sacrificing gravitas or profundity.

I loved the program notes, too--they were beautifully written but also among the most useful that I can remember anywhere.  And the instrumental soloists were real standouts.

  I wish your series could be broadcast live or recorded though perhaps the acoustics there wouldn't lend themselves to doing so.  At any rate, many thanks, and congratulations on a fantastic concert.

P.S.  I came to the Bach Passion earlier in the 2012/13 season and found it immensely moving, deeply personal, and unforgettable.  I find that I'm still thinking of it and telling people about it.

Dear Director, I'm glad to have this chance to let you know what a tremendous experience the performance last night was, for me and the friends with me. The beauty of the voices and instruments, the balance between them, the depth of emotion, the way the sound enveloped the space, the magnitude of it all was astounding.

The best I've ever heard since the last time Voices of Ascension did it. Truly outstanding.

An absolutely brilliant performance.  I enjoyed it enormously. And I say this with a certain amount of experience, having sung the piece with everybody from (among others) Serge Koussevitsky and the BSO in the 1940’s (very slow tempi [so slow that in desperation the tenors took the Cum Sancto Spiritu away from him, with a ~20% increase in tempo], huge orchestra and a chorus of 200+) to (decades later) Roger Wagner (VERY fast performance—he [literally] had a plane to catch), as well as, of course, having heard it many, many times.

 As you can guess, I’m elderly, and I didn’t expect to last past the intermission, but I stayed for the whole thing with enormous pleasure.

I'm sure you know this, but the performance was extraordinary. In fact, I did stay for a bit to go thank the musicians. My friend was blown away and he played the darn thing. He was so glad that it was well attended. He said, "People need to hear this."

One of the best performances I can remember—particularly the Kyrie and the Gloria.  Thank you—and thank you for asking!

Best chorus ever! What a wonderful performance! Ascension is a great space to attend concerts – aesthetically beautiful and terrific acoustics. Thank you!

November 2014 25th Anniversary Gala Benefit
You contributed over $55,000.

Many thanks to you and our Board of Directors for your extraordinary generosity. We also thank our musicians who donated their services, soloists Sarah Shafer, Devon Guthrie, Joseph Beutel and Renee Louprette, WQXR's host Elliott Forrest, and conductor and composer Gregg Smith, recipient of the inaugural award of the Perrin Prize for lifetime contribution to the arts.

Gregg Smith, Roz Reese, Dennis Keene, VoA11-12-14


About Us

Voices of Ascension Chorus and Orchestra, founded and directed by conductor Dennis Keene, is one of the world's premier professional choral ensembles. The ensemble's annual series of concerts in New York City, now in its 25th season, and Grammy-nominated recordings on Delos and Naxos have received unequivocal critical acclaim.

The singers of Voices of Ascension are among the finest ensemble musicians in the United States. Most are active as soloists as well. Artistic Director Dennis Keene has blended this group of New York’s finest professional singers into a richly satisfying ensemble, unique in its flexibility and artistic command of choral music of every period and style. The ensemble varies according to the works performed, usually ranging from 20 to 40 singers.



Voices of Ascension welcomes dedicated patron Jeff Paley and Richard Gaddes, former General Director of Santa Fe Opera and Opera Theater of St. Louis, to the board of directors.

In the Press

"The Voices of Ascension Chorus and Orchestra, conducted by Dennis Keene, presents some of the most consistently polished and satisfying choral performances in New York City."
     The New York Times

"Sheer musical excellence…Mr. Keene drew an intensity from his singers ... every line emerges with fresh clarity ..."
     The New York Times

"... characterful handling of the quiet writing that forms the heart of the [Duruflé Requiem], mellow and radiant."
     The New York Times

"A towering performance. ... illustrating a complete understanding of Bach's popular and revered Mass [in B minor]."

"Dennis Keene led his Ascension Music Chorus and Orchestra in a performance that did Monteverdi's complex, exquisitely harmonized choral writing full justice." [Monteverdi Vespers of 1610]

"Dennis Keene and his magnificently polished Voices of Ascension choir…addressed both composers' music with power and an admirable suppleness." "…a remarkably transparent, well balanced blend."
     The New York Times