New recording shows Promise


The Promise, a vocal ensemble from Avondale College in New South Wales, is recording a new album with Adventist music label Psalter, a ministry of Adventist Media Network.

The recording of Faithful for Psalter, at Adventist Media Network’s studio in Wahroonga, New South Wales, will produce a minimum of ten tracks for the vocal ensemble and Adventist record label Psalter.  

The Promise is polished and it’s already ministering through music

This precedes a performance at Sydney Adventist Hospital’s Carols by Candlelight on December 12.

The Promise also appears in a one-hour It Is Written Oceania special called “Silent Night: A Simple Melody” airing on the Seven Network in Australia’s new digital channel 7TWO and on the Prime Television Network on Christmas Day at 6.30 AM.

The quality and quantity of The Promise’s performances impresses Psalter. “The Promise is polished,” says Psalter manager Tim Burcham, “and it’s already ministering through music.”

Directed by Dr Robb Dennis, a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Arts at Avondale, The Promise is one of two vocal ensembles at Avondale College. It is smaller and younger than its more storied sibling, Avondale Singers, whose history dates back to 1947. However, The Promise tours regularly, performing about 60 times this year.

Dr Robb Dennis directs The Promise

Most students head home for holidays at the end of the academic year at Avondale College, but not members of The Promise. They come from across Australia and overseas—one is from Malaysia. Most have previous choral experience. One is a former winner of the Australian Songwriting Contest.

“Of all the instruments, the human voice is the most beautiful,” says Mr Burcham. Who adds it is the ensemble’s focus on harmony that appeals to him. “I love it.”

The Promise will perform three songs—“Deck the Halls,” “In December” and the medley “Christmas Finale”—during the hospital’s carols program. 

The Promise first performed at carols in the year of its founding, 2005. The following year, the ensemble performed during a televised worship service in St Paul’s Cathedral during the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, recorded its debut album and toured New Zealand. 

Performances since then have included support for the Watoto Children’s Choir at Hunter Valley Gardens and an annual concert at Adamstown Uniting Church, mostly as part of its “Sunday Interlude” series. The Promise toured southern New South Wales, Melbourne and Perth over the past three years and continues to perform in churches and schools. It performed at Sydney Opera House as part of the Sydney Youth Musicale and signed with Psalter this year.

Twice-weekly practices, the number of performances—particularly those on longer tours—and coping with extra responsibility outside of classes ensures a strong bond between the members of The Promise. “There’s something special about belonging to a tight-knit group and doing ministry with family,” says Elyse Taylor, who sang with The Promise from its inception in 2005 to the end of 2008. She describes those years as “challenging” but also as “one of the best experiences of my life.”

Faithful will be released early next year. 

Photos by Pablo Lillo and Kent Marcus Photography