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"I'll Fly Away"
Voices Only
Video still via The Acappella Company

Voices Only: ‘I’ll Fly Away’ with an Ascending Voice

Welcome to Voices Only, your weekly dose of delightful a cappella.

Here’s a beautiful rendition of “I’ll Fly Away,” a hymn written in 1929 by Oklahoma native Albert E. Brumley. It’s thought to be one of the most-recorded gospel songs of all time. This version by Cerulean Ensemble is one for the ages:

Yes, the video title says “I Will Fly Away,” so it must have been written by Data from Star Trek. Remember the highly sophisticated android who could not use contractions? (And see how I went with “could not” there?)

This recording is from The Ascending Voice, an international symposium of sacred a cappella music hosted by Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. From the date on the video this appears to be part of Ascending Voice IV in 2016. Our own Bobby Ross Jr. covered the first Ascending Voice symposium back in 2007 and Ascending Voice II in 2010. The conferences showcased an interesting mix of faith traditions that use a cappella music in worship. (Those of us in Churches of Christ aren’t alone in this practice.)

I can’t figure out what the Cerulean Ensemble is. The only other video I could find by this group is also from Ascending Voice IV and it’s called “Cantate.” It’s in Latin, I think. (That’s something I should know since I took three years of Latin in high school, but here were are. Honestly, it didn’t really help me out on my SATs, either.) So if anyone knows anything more about this song or this ensemble, please post in the comments.

If you were hoping for something a bit more congregational this week, I’ve got you covered. Here’s the Acappella Company‘s rendition of “I’ll Fly Away” from its excellent Praise and Harmony series. Side note: at the 40-second mark this video briefly switches to “training mode” with just four voices singing the four parts. Acappella does this to help singers get acclimated to the various harmonies, I believe.

What’s your favorite a cappella song? Send us a video link and a short description of what the song means to you. We might use your selection in a future Voices Only.

Make it so.

Filed under: ' a cappella Acappella Ascending Voice congregational singing Partners Pepperdine University Praise and Harmony Voices Only Voices Only

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