Arts & Culture

UK Chorale Dedicates Video to Kentuckians Lost to Pandemic

UK Chorale recorded a virtual performance of "Down in the River to Pray" to offer solace to others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 12, 2020) As members of the University of Kentucky Chorale finished their spring semester remotely from home, they took the time to record a video performance of “Down in the River to Pray.” The group dedicated its rendition of the song to those across the Commonwealth who have lost loved ones to the COVID-19 pandemic. The video was featured at the end of Gov. Andy Beshear’s May 8 TV briefing, the last day of Spring 2020 classes at UK.

The UK Chorale, directed by Professor Jefferson Johnson, is the university’s premier mixed choral ensemble. It consists mostly of upperclassmen and graduate students. While the majority of singers are music majors, there are a number of other UK academic disciplines represented.

The Chorale prides itself in performing a wide variety of choral literature from Renaissance to 21st century. The ensemble has been fortunate enough to work with many talented composers, conductors and performers and has received regional and national awards. UK Chorale has also toured extensively, performing in Italy, Switzerland, France, the Bahamas, Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Watch the video, produced by Michael Brisentine, Matt Gibson and Shaan Azeem, above or on the UK College of Fine Arts YouTube channel.

UK Chorale is part of the School of Music at the UK College of Fine Arts. The school has garnered a national reputation for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, music therapy, composition, and theory and music history.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.