By Madison Farrar, Contributing Writer

This year, Asbury worship will be showcasing some new faces with the addition of a new musical group. The Asbury Worship Collective Choir is a student led singing group that will partner with various chapel bands throughout the semester. This group will perform alongside the bands to create a more dynamic worship experience.

The goal of the choir is to spread God’s love to everyone through this unique campus wide ministry and for new friendships to form along the way. Tom Mangione, one of the leaders of the choir, was inspired to start the group because of an internship at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville this past summer. “Being a part of a choir is a fun way to serve,” said Mangione. “Additionally, choirs act as a way to build community in an organic and natural way.”

The group focuses on inclusivity by being open to anyone willing to devote one hour each week to practice. No singing experience is required, just a willingness to learn. Asbury Worship Collective Choir hopes to be a great way for students to learn and grow musically, while exploring different forms of worship.

The choir will feature songs from the latest Asbury Worship Collective original album, making this a true collaboration of groups. Being a part of the Asbury Worship Collective, Mangione recognizes that the program can seem exclusive at times. “I want the choir to be a way to open up participation in chapel worship,” said Mangione. “This will hopefully be a new channel for people to connect and get involved with Asbury Worship Collective.”

Adam Rousey, partnering with Mangione, has high hopes for the choir and its potential. As a music major, Rousey is involved with many aspects of music at Asbury, but this new endeavor gives him the opportunity to get involved with the worship arts program. “We hope to feel a real connection with each other as we worship,” Rousey said. “I hope to see a collective connection with the Spirit—choir, bands and audience.”

While this group will be under experimental conditions for the year as they gain their footing and figure out where they fit, there has been an overwhelmingly positive response to the idea of the choir and their incorporation into the worship experience. After the first informational meeting, the group is forming nicely with almost 15 members.

Caleb Dennis, new member of the Asbury Worship Collective Choir, is very excited to be a part of the group, although he initially talked himself out of it. “Two things I have always loved are corporate worship and seeing my friends make cool things, and the choir is kind of the best of both worlds,” Dennis said.

The choir will appear in Hughes for the first time later in the semester. “I believe God can use the choir to facilitate His work in the lives of our classmates,” said Dennis. “If one person takes a single step toward God because of what we’re doing, I will feel that we’ve succeeded.”