Music at Asbury

“Praise the LORD! How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!” – Psalm 147:1

Music is a vital part of the life of Asbury Theological Seminary. Whether worship in Chapel, our Seminary Singers program, music lessons, songwriting, or other worship services on campus, music brings life to all that we do as a Seminary. 

CHAPEL BAND

The Chapel Band is a group of students that prepares music and leads congregational singing in Chapel services. Under the leadership of the Music Intern, participants in Chapel Band meet to rehearse, fellowship, and join in praising God while ushering the Asbury Seminary community into a place of worship.

Instrumentalists and vocalists from any tradition or skill level are welcome to join! Auditions are typically held in September and February. Regular worship gatherings, a casual opportunity for exchanging songs, trying new instruments, and praising in community, are held throughout the semester. 

Chapel Band is also available as a one-credit course. Participation in Chapel Band is an opportunity to learn more about worship planning, song selection, and the theology of music and congregational worship. The course is open to students at any level of experience as the purpose of the course is to develop and hone skills for congregational musical leadership. 

Email chapel@asburyseminary.edu to share your interest or for more info about Chapel Band. Contact jonathan.powers@asburyseminary.edu for more information on taking Chapel Band for credit. 

THE MUSIC and WORSHIP SUITE

The Music and Worship Suite is located in Beeson Center Rooms 140-147 (below McKenna Chapel). This unique space is open for students to use during business hours. It features multiple practice rooms (each equipped with a piano), locations for private lessons, and group space for music and songwriting gatherings, as well as the below:

  • Studio location for private music lessons
  • Seminary Singers office and sectionals area
  • Choral music library
  • Hymnals and books on music/songwriting skills
  • Meeting space for music and songwriting gatherings
  • Music and songwriting workspaces available
  • Practice rooms available for walk-in or by reservation
  • Recording opportunities in development!

If you would like keycard access to the Music Suite, please contact jonathan.powers@asburyseminary.edu

ASBURY SONGWRITERS GUILD

The Songwriters Guild is open to anyone who is interested in learning about the songwriting process and growing in songwriting skills!

Events include:

  • A regular song share where you can hear original songs written by the Asbury Seminary community and receive feedback on any songs you wish to share
  • Information luncheons where we discuss topics in songwriting (such as practices, important themes, and how to copyright material) and give tips for honing songwriting skills
  • Writing retreats where we spend extended time in co-writes and doing creative work to develop new song compositions

If you are someone who enjoys music, wants to dabble in songwriting, or is curious about the songwriting process, this gathering is for you! No musical skill or songwriting experience required.

Also consider taking the Songwriting and Theology course taught by Dr. Jonathan Powers when it is next offered. 

Join the email list to stay updated on events by contacting jonathan.powers@asburyseminary.edu

MUSIC FOR COURSE CREDIT

The following music courses are available for credit:

Private Piano Lessons: 1-2 credit hour course. One or two 30-minute lessons per week each semester. Piano performance and music theory emphasized for all students. Contact jonathan.powers@asburyseminary.edu for more information.

Private Voice Lessons: 1-2 credit hour course. One or two 30-minute lessons per week each semester. Vocal production and vocal health emphasized for all students. Contact Virginia Bowles at vbowels@twc.com for more information.

Private Guitar Lessons: 1-2 credit hour course. One or two 30-minute lessons per week each semester. Beginning, intermediate, or advanced students. Styles include basic accompaniment chords for vocalists, ear training for playing by ear, jazz/blues/rock, and classical. Contact jonathan.powers@asburyseminary.edu for more information.

Seminary Singers: 1 credit hour course or volunteer. A chorus that sings for chapel and other occasions on and off campus. Weekly rehearsals twice a week. Find out more here or contact danny.key@asburyseminary.edu for more information.

Chapel Band: 1 credit hour course or volunteer. See above for more information.

MUSIC EVENTS

ADVENT VESPERS

A highlight of the year for the Asbury Seminary Community, the Advent Vespers service is a time to prepare one’s heart for the Christmas season. The program features the Seminary Singers with orchestra, directed by Rev. Danny Key, and includes favorite Christmas carols along with beautiful anthems, Scripture readings from students, and the traditional candle lighting service at the end.

Mark your calendar! Advent Vespers 2022 will be on the evening of Sunday, December 4th.

Contact danny.key@asburyseminary.edu with questions.

NIGHT OF PRAISE

Throughout the semester, the Chapel Office plans opportunities to join as the Asbury Seminary community in praise, worship, and fellowship in an evening event known as “Night of Praise.” Contemporary worship, extended times of prayer, art or dance, and testimony may be included.

Night of Praise is a chance to recalibrate around what is most important – worshiping Jesus and praising him for who he is! Don’t miss these intimate and refreshing times of worship. 

Dates for Night of Praise can be found on the Kentucky Chapel Google Calendar and will be advertised on social media. 

HYMN SING

Asbury Seminary celebrates the rich tradition of hymnody each semester with a hymn sing. This event is open to the Wilmore community and is a joyful time of praise and fellowship as students and faculty share their personal connection with hymns and we lift our voices together in song. 

You can find out more about the history of hymns at Asbury Seminary here. The date for the Hymn Sing this semester can be found on the Kentucky Chapel Google Calendar and will be advertised on social media.

TENEBRAE

The Tenebrae Service takes place the week before Holy Week and is a time to reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus in preparation for Easter. Known as “a service of shadows,” this historical format for a Holy Week service tells the story of the death of Jesus on the cross through music, narration, and a progressively darker room.

The Seminary Singers, directed by Rev. Danny Key, leads this service annually in Wilmore’s McKenna Chapel. The hauntingly beautiful music provides an opportunity to contemplate the depth of the love of Jesus for all humanity. In the midst of sadness, hope is on the horizon with Easter ahead.

The date for Tenebrae 2023 is forthcoming but will be published on the Kentucky Chapel Google Calendar and advertised on social media.