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Asheville Symphony Chorus
Dewitt Tipton and a small but dedicated group of choristers formed the ASC in 1991 to augment the Asheville Symphony Orchestra—welcomed heartily by Robert Hart Baker, then conductor of the orchestra. At the time, the symphony was endeavoring to establish a strong base in Asheville, and they welcomed the opportunity to broaden their audience and musical repertoire to include choral works. The tradition continues today with ASO Artistic Director, Daniel Meyer.
For its first 20 years, Tipton meticulously prepared the chorus for annual Symphony Masterworks performance, the December Holiday Pops concert, and a concert produced and performed solely by the Chorus. This tradition of musical excellence and preparation is continuing with our new conductor, Dr. Michael Lancaster, who began his association with the ASC in July 2011.
Chorus and Dewitt Tipton
Michael Lancaster:
Michael LancasterMichael Lancaster comes to the ASC with a strong educational background and considerable experience. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Music from the University of Southern California and a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from California State University in Fullerton. In August, Dr. Lancaster became the Director of Choral Activities in the School of Music at Western Carolina University, where he conducts the Concert Choir, University Chorus, and Early Music Ensemble, and teaches conducting and voice. He also served on the music faculties at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Central Missouri State University and Missouri Southern State College. His choirs have sung in Carnegie Hall, the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and on many tours in the US and Europe.

Dr. Lancaster studied conducting for two summers at the Oregon Bach Festival under renowned conductor and Bach scholar Helmuth Rilling and has sung in the Festival Chorus many summers since. He was selected to sing under the direction of Robert Shaw in the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992 and 1996. Following "Samuel Ramey", he has sung in the Robert Shaw Choral Workshop and Carnegie Hall Choral Workshop several times in the ensuing years. He also participated as a member of the paid professional core in the “Robert Shaw Choral Workshop” in November 1990, which culminated in a performance of Ein Deutsches Requiem by Brahms conducted by Mr. Shaw in Carnegie Hall with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and soloists Sylvia McNair and Samuel Ramey.

Dewitt Tipton, Director Emeritus:
Dewitt Tipton

The Asheville Symphony Chorus owes Dewitt Tipton a debt of gratitude for his vision in creating our Chorus in 1991 and his continued dedication to the quality of our performances and the well-being of our members until his retirement in May of 2012.

His credentials include a Bachelor of Music degree from Mars Hill College and a Master of Music degree in performance and literature from the University of Illinois, Champagne Urbana.

Dewitt is currently Professor of Music at Furman University in Greenville, SC and continues to serve as official accompanist for many national rehearsals and auditions.

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Asheville Symphony Chorus